Skip to comments.Fossett Breaks Flight Distance Record
Posted on 02/11/2006 10:28:00 AM PST by protest1
BY DEREK KRAVITZ, Associated Press Writer 5 minutes ago
MANSTON, England - Adventurer Steve Fossett completed the longest nonstop flight in aviation history Saturday, flying 26,389 miles in about 76 hours, but he had to land early because of mechanical problems.
Ground control said Fossett, 61, broke the airplane distance record of 24,987 miles while his lightweight experimental plane was flying over Shannon, Ireland.
He then was forced to land the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer at Bournemouth International Airport, in southern England, instead of at a military air strip in nearby Kent because of generator problems.
The millionaire adventurer completed his journey around the globe and then some over 3 1/2 days despite losing about 750 pounds of fuel during his takeoff Tuesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida because of a leak.
The plane's ventilation system also malfunctioned midway through the trip, causing temperatures in the 7-foot cockpit to rise to as much as 130 degrees. Fossett was forced to drink a large part of his water supply earlier than planned because of the heat, his flight team said.
Weak winds over the Atlantic and severe turbulence over India which, at one point, forced Fossett to strap on a parachute prompted fears Fossett would have to ditch his record-breaking attempt in Newfoundland.
Instead, his flight team altered his projected route, having Fossett cross Florida, where he had begun his nonstop journey Wednesday, and take a southerly path on the flight's last leg to take advantage of better winds.
Early Saturday, Fossett decided to try to finish the trip after reaching the middle of the Atlantic.
His voyage broke the airplane distance record of 24,987 miles set in 1986 by the lightweight Voyager aircraft piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, as well as the balloon record of 25,361 miles set by Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard in 1999.
Fossett already holds the record for flying solo around the globe in a balloon and for being the first person to circle the globe solo in a plane without stopping or refueling. That flight last year lasted 67 hours and was hampered by a fuel leak.
While in the air, Fossett took power naps no longer than five minutes each and drank a steady diet of milkshakes. His plane was equipped with a parachute pack holding a one-man raft and a satellite rescue beacon.
How many frequent fly miles did he rack up?
Richard Branson is a credit to the British. I think he epitomizes The "American Dream", and he ain't even 'merican!
He's American at heart. ;-)
Just for the record, to properly understand this group, visit the Smithsonian Air And Space Museum on the mall and the Annex at Dulles. To actually see these historical craft and marvel at their smallness gives the adventure a new perspective.
While scrolling FR for news stories, I say your post... while listening to the song "Get Here" ("You can reach me by a big balloon...")
It's called labelling. Sort of like saying "A**hole reporters".
Steve Fossett has balls the size of cantalopes. His around-the-world sailing gigs were dangerous enough. The world's greatest adventurer bar none.
Probably stuck by approach control in a holding pattern.
I don't think so. Too heavy for the mission. As to the other question, I suspect he had a one of those men's urinal bottles you get in hospitals that he emptied occasionally over unpopulated regions.
Well done, Steve.
Fossett Sets Flight Distance RecordThe flight, which began at NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 7:22 a.m. (Eastern time) Wednesday, lasted 76 hours and 45 minutes and covered 26,389.3 miles, the GlobalFlyer Web site said, more than 1,000 miles farther than the flight of the balloon Breitling Orbiter 3 in 1999.
by Guy Gugliotta
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 12, 2006; Page A18
Help us fight childhood blindnessOver half a million children go blind each year - yet the medical and scientific knowledge to prevent and cure most cases of childhood blindness already exists. But the skills and technology are concentrated in the richer countries whilst the need is concentrated in the poorer ones.
Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer: Charity
"Early Saturday, Fossett decided to try to finish the trip after reaching the middle of the Atlantic.
It can't possibly be 1,400 miles between them! So, where'd he go in the meantime?
I checked and they're about 330 miles apart. Beats me why he couldn't get to his intended destination in Kent if he had an extra thousand miles to play with.
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