Archive for Sunday, December 18, 2005

GlobalFlyer to take off from Cape Canaveral

December 18, 2005

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— The man who became the first to fly nonstop and without refueling around the globe now aims to set a distance record from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Steve Fossett and his GlobalFlyer airplane will take off from Kennedy Space Center in January or February, attempting a 26,000-mile, 80-hour trip that would take him across the Atlantic Ocean twice before landing outside London.

It would be the longest nonstop flight by an aircraft or a balloon, all made without aerial refueling.

GlobalFlyer is a single-seat jet designed by aviation legend Burt Rutan to fly around the world without refueling. Fossett achieved that feat in March, piloting it on a 67-hour trip that took off and landed in Salina, Kan.

Fossett was considering launching the next flight from there, too, but Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman Brooke Lawer said he chose the Kennedy Space Center this time because of its temperate climate, extra-long runway and location. Starting here enables Fossett to avoid crossing half of the U.S. a second time.

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