This May 22, 2013 file photo shows the Solar Impulse, piloted by André Borschberg, taking flight, at dawn, from Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. The spindly no-fuel plane called Solar Impulse is scheduled to leave Washington Saturday early in the morning and arrive after midnight at New York
This May 22, 2013 file photo shows the Solar Impulse, piloted by André Borschberg, taking flight, at dawn, from Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. The spindly no-fuel plane called Solar Impulse is scheduled to leave Washington Saturday early in the morning and arrive after midnight at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. It may silently buzz the Statue of Liberty on the way. The plane started its cross-country journey May 3 from San Francisco. — AP (File Photo)

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

The Solar Impulse flew out of Dulles International Airport a little before 5 a.m. Saturday en route to New York City. The flight plan for the revolutionary plane takes it past the Statue of Liberty before landing at New York's JFK Airport early Sunday.

The aircraft, powered by some 11,000 solar cells, soars to 30,000 feet (9,140 meters) while poking along at a top speed of 45 mph (72 kph). The Solar Impulse left San Francisco in early May and has made five stopovers so far.

The cross-country flight is a tune-up for a planned 2015 flight around the globe with an up-graded version of the plane.

Updated Jul 06, 2013 02:18pm

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