Create or retrieve your password by clicking here

Pilot Completes First Nonstop Flight Around the World

March 4, 2005

Pilot Completes First Nonstop Flight Around the World
March 4, 2005 – Steve Fossett completed the first nonstop flight around the world without refueling on Thursday afternoon.

Fossett landed in Kansas after crossing three oceans and dozens of countries. The 25,000-mile flight took 67 hours and two minutes to complete. Fossett’s longtime friend and investor, Richard Branson, who heads Virgin Atlantic Airways, financed the voyage.

Scaled Composites built the aircraft, known as GlobalFlyer. They are the same firm that designed and launched the world’s first civilian manned spacecraft, SpaceShipOne, last year. According to CNN, that craft is being installed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum in Washington D.C., where GlobalFlyer could end up as well.

The flight was not entirely smooth sailing. At one point, controllers thought the plane would run out of fuel long before returning to Kansas. Fossett and the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer team considered abandoning the trip over Hawaii on Wednesday because the experimental plane came up about 2,600 pounds of fuel short after taking off. The jet burns 102 pounds of fuel per hour. The team speculated that fuel was vented from four tanks shortly after takeoff.

Fossett decided to press on because of favorable tail winds.

To read more on this story, visit

« »