Adventurer-pilot Steve Fossett plans to set a record for the longest non-stop flight of an airplane, starting from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center sometime in February. His mount, once again, will be the Burt Rutan-designed GlobalFlyer. The exact takeoff date will depend on the weather, following preflight preparations scheduled to start Jan. 6.
Fossett’s plan is to fly around the world, then across the Atlantic a second time. Solo. Non-stop. He expects to fly at or near 45,000 feet at around 285 mph, according to NASA’s announcement.
NASA is making its long Space Shuttle Landing Facility runway available to Fossett in its plan to use the Shuttle’s runway for a variety of non-NASA – but carefully chosen – flights.
GlobalFlyer was built by Rutan’s Scaled Composites for a successful non-stop flight around the world last year.