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Solar-powered aircraft wraps up its cross-country flight

A solar-powered plane began its cross-country trip May 3 in San Francisco. It travels at a top speed of 45 miles per hour.
A solar-powered plane began its cross-country trip May 3 in San Francisco. It travels at a top speed of 45 miles per hour. Matt York/Associated PRESS/file

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A solar-powered aircraft lifted off from a suburban Washington airport before dawn Saturday, embarking on the final leg of a history-making cross-country flight.

The Solar Impulse left Dulles International Airport a little before 5 a.m. en route to New York City. The flight plan called for it to land at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport late Saturday.

A tear found on the plane’s left wing Saturday forced the plane to land earlier than scheduled — but the pilot and aircraft do not appear to be in danger, officials said.

The pilot noticed balance problems with the wing in the early afternoon off New Jersey.

The flight was expected to land before midnight Saturday.

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