Fossett Flyer Lands

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Bonnie, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. Bonnie

    Bonnie Senior Member

    Jun 30, 2004
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    Fossett's Solo Flight Ends in Success

    Thursday, March 03, 2005

    SALINA, Kan. — Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett (search) has completed the first solo around-the-world flight without stopping or refueling.

    "I'm really starting to perk up, now realizing that I'm getting close to the end," Fossett said earlier in the day after crossing into U.S. airspace over Los Angeles.

    Fossett landed in the central Kansas town around 2:47 p.m., a feat that made him the first person to circumnavigate the globe alone without stopping or refueling.

    A fuel system problem had raised doubt Wednesday whether Fossett could complete the 23,000-mile journey. But Fossett played down the problem overnight, and he and his flight crew agreed to keep the GlobalFlyer (search) in the air rather than abandon the attempt and land in Hawaii.

    Project manager Paul Moore said fuel sensors in the custom-built plane's 13 tanks differed from readings of how quickly its single jet engine was burning fuel. Moore said the crew had been forced to assume that 2,600 pounds of the original 18,100 pounds of fuel "disappeared" early in the flight.

    But mission control determined the plane had conserved fuel because of strong tail winds and still had more than 3,200 pounds, enough to finish the global trek.

    It was not clear whether there was an actual leak or just a problem with the sensors, Fossett's team said.

    Fossett, 60, already holds the record for flying solo around the globe in a balloon, as well as dozens of other aviation and sailing records.

    He is trying to break several aviation records, including the longest flight by a jet. The record is more than 12,000 miles, set by a B-52 bomber in 1962.

    Aviation pioneer Wiley Post made the first solo around-the-world trip in 1933, taking more than seven days and stopping numerous times. The first nonstop global flight without refueling was made in 1986 by Jeana Yeager and Dick Rutan, brother of GlobalFlyer designer Burt Rutan (search).

    The project is being financed by Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson (search), a longtime friend and fellow adventurer.,3566,149284,00.html

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