The Solar Impulse solar electric airplane sits on on the runway at Moffett Field before flying to Pheonix, Arizona, as part of a cross-country trip.. (Photo by Beck Diefenbach/Getty Images)
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - A solar-powered airplane has taken off from Northern California on the first leg of a planned journey to several U.S. cities.
The Solar Impulse left Moffett Field in Mountain View just after dawn. It plans to stop in Phoenix, Dallas, Washington and New York. Each flight leg will take 20 to 25 hours, with 10-day stops in each city.
The plane is powered by about 12,000 photovoltaic cells that cover massive wings and charge its batteries, allowing it to fly day and night without jet fuel. But its low weight makes it vulnerable to bad weather.
Its creators say solar planes will never replace fuel-powered commercial flights. The goal is to showcase the potential of solar power.
The plane has already wowed aviation fans in Europe.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A man was taken to the hospital Thursday after he was hit by a stray bullet while driving on SR-54 near Bruce Lane in Wesley Chapel. ABC Action News learned this is the second time a driver has been shot at on this stretch of road in the past year.