Code 'Green' Declared For Fossett's 'Ultimate Flight'
All Systems Go For GlobalFlyer's Tuesday Launch At KSC
GlobalFlyer on display at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2005
February 6, 2006 — EAA member and world record pilot Steve Fossett has been given the green light for Tuesday, February 7, to begin his "Ultimate Flight" in the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Conditions look to be favorable for a 6:42 a.m. launch from the Space Shuttle runway and landing facility. Fossett will attempt to fly further than any aircraft or balloon has ever flown, without stopping or refueling.
GlobalFlyer is Scaled Composite's 'Model 311' aircraft that was specifically designed for non-stop global circumnavigation by a solo pilot. It made a grand entrance at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2005 following its record non-stop flight around the world without refueling earlier in the year. Fossett and Virgin Atlantic Chairman Sir Richard Branson announced plans for the Ultimate Flight on AeroShell Square at Oshkosh.
After take off, Fossett will circumnavigate the globe, pass over KSC again, then continue on across the North Atlantic and land at England's Kent International Airport. That estimated distance is 26,160 miles, which would eclipse both the existing world flight distance records--Voyager's 24,987 miles and the Breitling Orbiter balloon's 25,361 miles. The flight is expected to last about 80 hours.