Solar Impulse is seen at JFK airport in New York, July 6, 2013.
Solar Impulse is seen at JFK airport in New York, July 6, 2013.

A solar-powered aircraft has completed its history-making cross-country trip over the United States.

The experimental Solar Impulse landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport late Saturday, three hours ahead of schedule after an unexpected tear was found on its left wing. The plane’s mission team said neither the pilot nor the aircraft appeared to be in danger, but an early landing was planned anyway.

The team called the tear an obstacle that pilot André Borschberg “skillfully faced.”

Powered by about 11,000 solar cells, the Swiss-made Solar Impulse started its path across the U.S. in San Francisco in early May, making stopovers in five cities before finishing its journey in New York. The plane took off for New York from a suburban Washington airport before daybreak Saturday.

The two-month flight was a test for a planned 2015 flight around the Earth with a more powerful version of the aircraft.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.



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