Posted By RichC on February 11, 2006
Although Google news tells me there are over 2000 news stories about the record breaking flight of Virgin Atlantics Global Flyer piloted by Steve Fossett, I felt it necessary to close my mutiple posts with a follow up comment. (I’m sure for details there are plenty of news stories) Nevertheless, the experimental Scaled Composite plane did break the distance recorded held by the planes designer Dick Rutan and copilot Jean Yeager in 1986 by completing 26,389 miles nonstop on a single tank of fuel.
Fosset took off from the Kennedy Space Center, circled the globe once and continued across the Atlantic this morning to England. His trip wasn’t without stressful moment that included the loss of 750 lbs of fuel on takeoff, turbulance over India that threated to tear the plane apart and the loss of electical power while beginning decent from an altitude of over 50,000 feet.
Steve Fossett decided not to land at his scheduled airport (Kent, England) but made a Mayday call and an emergency landing at Bournemouth, England. His unscheduled landing with an ice coated canopy on only reserved battery powered electronic was a stressful end to a long and tiring flight. The GlobalFlyer touched down at 5:07 p.m (12:07 p.m. Eastern time), blew two tires and left spectators waiting at the Kent International Airport.
Although I’m not sure that the Guinness Book of World Records award is what stimulates Steve Fossett to make such flights he was presented with the record upon arriving to a news conference at Kent Airport less then a year after receiving an award for setting the world record for the first solo, non-stop, non-refuelled trip around the world.