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Solar plane lands in NYC during journey to circle the globe

A solar-powered airplane on Saturday landed in New York City on Saturday after crossing the United States, the project team said.

Solar plane lands in NYC during journey to circle the globe

The single-seat experimental aircraft named Solar Impulse 2 arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport at about 4 a.m. local time. It took off about five hours beforehand at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Pennsylvania, the team reported on the airplane's website.

"Such a pleasure to land in #NYC! For the 14th time we celebrate sustainability," said the project's co-founder Andre Borschberg on Twitter after flying over the city and the Statue of Liberty during the 14th leg of the trip around the globe.

The Swiss team is flying the aircraft in order to build support for clean energy. They are planning to complete its circumnavigation in Abu Dhabi, where the journey began in March 2015.

The cruising speed of solar craft is similar to that of a car and it required pilots to take up meditation and hypnosis in training to stay alert for long periods.

Borschberg and fellow pilot Bertrand Piccard alternate with each other at the controls for each segment of the whole journey.