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  Low Earth Orbit: Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer

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Author Topic:   Low Earth Orbit: Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer
Kevin Carrico
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From: Salina, Kansas, USA
Registered: May 2004

posted 02-27-2005 11:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Steve Fossett will soon attempt to fly solo around the world without refueling, in an experimental aircraft known as the Global Flyer. The record attempt is the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world in an aircraft, meeting the criteria of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI). The attempt is scheduled to occur as soon as Monday afternoon. Fossett will depart from the Salina (Kansas) Municipal Airport with video equipment being tested for NASA.

The Salina Municipal Airport provides more than two miles of runway which will be necessary for the 22,000 pound plane fully loaded with fuel to get off the ground, and then climb 45,000 feet into the jet stream for a 70 hour flight around the world.

A Citation 10 chase plane will also transmit video to Mission Control housed at Kansas State University at Salina.

The Global Flyer’s sole sponsor is Virgin Atlantic. The Global Flyer was designed by Burt Rutan and built by Scaled Composites.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 02-27-2005 11:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I want to thank Kevin, who has graciously volunteered to file reports from Salina airport and the Global Flyer mission control for collectSPACE. Though not directly space related, the fact NASA is involved and that the vehicle was built by the same team responsible for SpaceShipOne, made this appropriate for collectSPACE.

Kevin will be filing reports throughout the flight. You can also check out the Global Flyer website.

Kevin Carrico
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From: Salina, Kansas, USA
Registered: May 2004

posted 02-27-2005 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Final preparations are being made by Steve Fossett for a Monday afternoon take off from the Salina (Kansas) Municipal Airport in his attempt to become the first pilot to fly solo around the world without refueling. Fully loaded with fuel, the experimental aircraft known as the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer will weigh approximately 22,000 pounds upon takeoff. The pilot and plane must climb 45,000 feet into the jet stream for a 70 hour flight around the world. Thousands expect to be on hand to witness the historic departure which is likely to take place sometime between 2pm and 6pm central standard time according to the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer website.

spaceuk
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From: Staffs, UK
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posted 02-28-2005 06:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Its being reported in UK daily newspapers today but they 'hyped up' the negative side by saying that the weight may be too much for it to take off as it has never been tested fully laden

I wish the team all success on the venture.

gliderpilotuk
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From: London, UK
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posted 02-28-2005 04:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would be nice if they'd put some money into decent servers - the website is unobtainable: obviously overwhelmed.

Paul Bramley

skippy in space
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From: Aberdeen Scotland
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posted 02-28-2005 05:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for skippy in space   Click Here to Email skippy in space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I'm on but no live feed just a rolling bar saying launch at 23:45 less than 10 minutes, I have even tried KSAL but they don't seam to have live audio.

skippy in space
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From: Aberdeen Scotland
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posted 02-28-2005 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for skippy in space   Click Here to Email skippy in space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now scheduled for 00:15utc and the video feeds are sort of working!

gliderpilotuk
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From: London, UK
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posted 02-28-2005 06:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes I've sort of got it. There's now a helpful message: "Planned take-off time now reached"! And...?

Paul

gliderpilotuk
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posted 02-28-2005 06:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
VA Global Flyer is airborne at 00:48 UTC.

Godspeed Steve Fossett.

Paul Bramley

spaceman1953
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From: South Bend, IN United States of America
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 02-28-2005 08:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Godspeed, indeed!

It was way too cloudy overhead here in Northern Indiana... I know he is up there somewhere!

Gene Bella
South Bend, Walkerton, Plymouth

Kevin Carrico
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From: Salina, Kansas, USA
Registered: May 2004

posted 02-28-2005 09:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello everyone from Kevin Carrico. I just returned from the take off at the Salina Municipal Airport and from a press conference that followed at Mission Control. Here is what I can tell you. The official departure time was 6:47 central standard time. Steve Fossett used eight thousand feet of runway to get into the air. His plane slightly dipped shortly after take off which caused a little concern but everything went well. He is currently flying at thirty thousand feet and is near Chicago, Illinois. The flight was delayed as the headwinds needed to get down to ten miles per hour. Kevin Stass, the Mission Control Director, filed a route plan to qualify for the record which initially went like this (and I apologize for the errors in spelling in advance). Take off from Salina, Kansas, then up to Chicago, Illinois, across to Detroit, Michigan, up to North Bay Canada, across to Newfoundland, down to the Medira Islands, then Casa Blanca, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Saudia Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Aman, Pakistan, India, China, South Korea, Japan, Hawaii, Los Angeles, Colorado, and back to Salina, Kansas. The distance Steve must cover to qualify for the record is the equivalent of the Tropic of Cancer (19,863 longitudinal miles). Steve will not climb to 45,000 feet until he gets over Africa. I do know the flight plan encountered a slight problem and had to be changed because Algeria activated a military area meaning no flights over that country. Virgin Atlantic re-routed it and actually felt good about the ammended flight plan because it made the route shorter. I got to spend a portion of the afternoon visiting with test pilot legend Bob Hoover and with hotel tycoon Barron Hilton. I also visited a fair amount with Ken Cockrell (STS 56,69,80,98,111 and Micheal S (Group XVIII). It has been a crazy day. I now head back out to Mission Control for a 10pm Mission Control briefing. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them and I will try to dig up answers. I sure do feel fortunate that Robert Pearlman gave me the opportunity to do this!

gliderpilotuk
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From: London, UK
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posted 03-01-2005 03:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin Carrico:
The distance Steve must cover to qualify for the record is the equivalent of the Tropic of Cancer (19,863 longitudinal miles). Steve will not climb to 45,000 feet until he gets over Africa.
The one amazing statistic that is missing from the website is the DISTANCE travelled! Or did I miss it?

The live take-off streamed ok via Real Player.

Given Branson's penchant for publicity, I feel he's missed a great opportunity by not having a "smart" website, with live, rapidly refreshing and relevant data.

Paul Bramley

Kevin Carrico
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From: Salina, Kansas, USA
Registered: May 2004

posted 03-01-2005 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Latest information coming from Mission Control this morning is that the flight is progressing well. However, last night as Steve was leaving the US towards Canada, the GPS system on the aircraft failed entirely for a period of two hours. According to Steve, this was a big worry and could have been "a showstopper". Two hours later the GPS system re-engaged much to the relief of Steve and the Mission Control team. Without the GPS, especially when out of radio range, Steve was literally flying blind and could not even be directed by air traffic control. The press was told this morning however that a premature landing was not discussed. The team figured out the GPS failure was due to interference issues which have been resolved and are no longer a threat. Over the middle of the Atlantic, at 41,000 feet, Steve encountered about ten minutes of moderate turbulence. Steve took off with 18,100 pounds of fuel on board and is now down to 13,100 pounds of fuel. Mission control is monitoring this closely. We were told Steve is running about 1/2 % better fuel consumption then predicted but he is behind a bit in distance because the tail winds have not been as good as anticipated. I think Paul Bramley has raised some good points in his commentary to the website and if I get a chance to visit again with Sir Richard Branson I am going to mention a few of the frustrations. Prior to the flight both Steve Fossett and Sir Richard Branson were extremely accessable to the press. Both men were relaxed and very willing to engage in discussions with individual members of the press.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 03-01-2005 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Kevin. It's nice that you can flesh out the detail for us. You can tell Sir Richard that the lunchtime BBC TV news actually had 1 minute on the take-off and aims of the flight. Hopefully media coverage will improve.

Paul

Dirk
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From: Belgium
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posted 03-01-2005 03:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dirk   Click Here to Email Dirk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe interesting to know, the man who gives the weatherinformation on Steves flight route is David Dehenau, weatherman on a Belgian commercial TV station.

He also was his contact on his balloon flight around the earth.

Dirk

gliderpilotuk
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From: London, UK
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posted 03-01-2005 04:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...and if you go here you can see why they changed the route to take advantage of the jetstream over Africa, rather than going north over Europe where the winds are much lighter.

These are forecasts baselined at 12:00UTC Tuesday March 1st.

Paul Bramley

Kevin Carrico
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From: Salina, Kansas, USA
Registered: May 2004

posted 03-02-2005 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the 8am CST press conference, the press was informed of a troubling development involving the fuel. There is a 2,600 pound fuel discrepancy, which is very significant. Apparently, early fuel indications were not accurate. The Virgin Atlantic team has informed the press that there is insufficient fuel to make it back to Salina, Kansas, without sufficient tailwind. The team will have to make two GO/NO GO decisions within the next few hours. One decision will be whether Steve should leave Japanese airspace and head out over the Pacific Ocean. If Steve does continue over the Pacific then the next GO/NO GO decision will be made in Hawaii and whether he should land there or continue on. Right now, Virgin Altantic Mission Control is not sure whether a fuel leak caused the problem or whether evaporation was a contributing factor. It is possible that a large amount of fuel was lost through vent lines within the first 3.5 hours of the flight. Presently, there are 5,500 pounds of fuel remaining. A 58 knot tailwind average will be needed for Steve to get back to Salina. The fuel loss on the plane has stopped but the damage may already have been done. Steve was brought on the phone with the press this morning and commented that this was, "a huge setback". He is thinking about the alternatives. The ultimate decision whether to end the flight prematurely or continue on is Steve Fossetts. The bottom line is this: Without the tailwind, Steve Fossett will not be able to get back. Everything now will depend on that tailwind.

STEVE SMITH
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From: WICHITA, KANSAS, USA
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posted 03-02-2005 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for STEVE SMITH   Click Here to Email STEVE SMITH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see that he is currently East of Japan, so looks like that "Go/No Go" decision is past.

I'm ready to drive up to Salina if it looks like he can make it.

God Speed (literally and figuratively) GlobalFlyer!!!!

gliderpilotuk
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posted 03-02-2005 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's another decision point:
another decision on the attempt's continuation will be made at about halfway across on approach to Hawaii. Although Steve needed the long Salina runway to take-off, he does not need as much distance to land the aircraft and could land in Hawaii if necessary.
There's zero information on the website about the actual tailwind being achieved.

Paul

Kevin Carrico
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From: Salina, Kansas, USA
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posted 03-02-2005 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just got out of the 1:30pm press conference. Steve is currently enjoying a tailwind of 100 knots. He needs an average of 58-60 knots to get back to Salina. Current predictions are that the winds beyond Hawaii are no better than 40 knots per hour. A crucial procedure going on right now is the draining of the fuel tanks. This procedure was always planned for this stage of the mission. Steve was on the phone with the press and said that the fuel transfer that is currently underway is the most important event going on right now. He is hopeful that a precise determination of how much fuel is left will be favorable. The current rate of fuel consumption from Japan to Hawaii is 175 pounds per hour. The press was told that Mission Control believes that the plane has four and a half thousand pounds of fuel left. Mission Control is relying heavily on the input from the Belgium meterologist to make future decisions. Steve is expected to reach Hawaii in six hours and ten minutes. The next chase plane intercept by the Citation X will be in Honolulu. The good news is that as time goes on, the Global Flyer is getting lighter and lighter and using less fuel. No decision has been made with regard to alternate landing strips in Hawaii or the United States at this time. The next press briefing is scheduled at 10pm central standard time this evening.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 03-02-2005 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Kevin - we're on tenterhooks, hoping he can stretch it.

paul

Kevin Carrico
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From: Salina, Kansas, USA
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posted 03-02-2005 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

The GlobalFlyer project team and NASA are currently testing state-of-the art live video communications equipment as part of the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer record attempt. The equipment, which enables pilot Steve Fossett to communicate more easily and effectively with Mission Control by providing clear live video images with audio from the aircraft back to Mission Control, has been developed as part of NASA’s Space Based Telemetry and Range Safety System (STARS) project to design and develop communications equipment for reusable space craft. According to the STARS Project Manager at NASA, Lisa Valencia, “STARS is a multicentre NASA proof-of-concept project to determine if operational costs can be reduced and operational flexibility increased by using space-based communication systems to relay tracking data and vehicle telemetry from reusable launch vehicles to the ground, and to relay flight termination signals from the ground to a vehicle. This equipment has the potential of reducing the cost and infrastructure of the current ground-based communication systems composed of numerous radar, telemetry and command control sites. For the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer flight, the STARS experiment was modified to provide the capability of transmitting 113 kbps video data of the pilot during the three day world flight.” To accomplish this transmission, a video encoder and STARS hardware had to be combined into a consolidated unit and interfaced to the flight antenna and cockpit camera system on the aircraft. The KSC ground station required modifications to decode the data stream (cockpit video signal) received from TDRS into a standard video stream. The KSC Telescience Lab supported the ground station redistribution of the cockpit video signal back to the Mission Control Center in Kansas. They also provided streaming video with encoded audio and still video captures, as well as the complete archival of the footage from the flight.

Kevin Carrico
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From: Salina, Kansas, USA
Registered: May 2004

posted 03-02-2005 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Lets Go For It" were the words given by Steve Fossett to his GlobalFlyer Mission Control team this evening. This means that the plane will continue to fly onto Los Angeles and hopefully into Salina by mid day Thursday. The Mission Control team is cautiously optimistic at this stage of the mission. Strong tail winds in excess of 130 knots put the world record attempt back within grasp, however, there is absolutely no room for complacency. The current fuel consumption is 160 pounds per hour and if my notes are correct, Steve has 20 hours of fuel remaining. Steve was again on the phone with the press tonight and said, "the jet stream has been extraordinary, I have really hit it well." Steve has already broken one world record by traveling more that twelve and a half thousand miles over a closed circuit. The previous record was set in the 1950's by a B52. Within the last 24 hours, there have been 76 million hits to the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer website. Steve was happy to hear this news. Steve has been taking many very short naps but is fatigued. The chase plan was suppose to meet up with Steve over Honolulu but this did not happen. Instead, the chase plan is going to meet up with him between Los Angeles and Denver. This is not a done deal yet by any means but things are looking good.

Kevin Carrico
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posted 03-03-2005 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The morning press briefing contained no revelations other than Steve is on pace to arrive in Salina on schedule and with some residual fuel. Excitement around here is beginning to mount. We were informed that the tailwind that Steve was previously enjoying has decreased from 130 knots over the Pacific to 35 knots presently. The plane currently has 1900 pounds of fuel on board and will be weighed when it arrives in Salina. Other then a few headaches due to dehydration, Steve said he is feeling good but not celebrating yet. He will receive a medical check up upon his arrival.

lunarrv15
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posted 03-03-2005 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunarrv15   Click Here to Email lunarrv15     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just viewed his current location. He is approaching the four corner states (Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico).

Possible six hours of flying time till the landing. He has accomplish the solo flight.

Philip
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posted 03-03-2005 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know what the "FINESSE" is off the Global Flyer?

Some gliders have FINESSE=40, meaning they can glide 40 miles (when at 1 mile altitude).

Philip

lunarrv15
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posted 03-03-2005 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunarrv15   Click Here to Email lunarrv15     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
He is heading for the landing. Cleared the mountains

Glint
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posted 03-03-2005 02:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
He has made it. Touched down at 1:50 CST.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 03-03-2005 02:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Philip:
Does anyone know what the "FINESSE" is off the Global Flyer?
Philip, I reckon it is in excess of 35:1 (we call it the glide ratio). An open class glider with a 29 meter wingspan has a glide ratio of 50+:1, so if you allow for the extra weight and the engine, 35:1 is probably about right. From the commentary they seemed to be working off 300 miles from 45,000 ft, ie approx. 33:1.

Luckily they didn't have to put it to the test but it certainly looked like great soaring weather in Salina.

A great achievement by a remarkable adventurer. I hope Scaled get the credit they are due also.

Paul Bramley

Kevin Carrico
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From: Salina, Kansas, USA
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posted 03-03-2005 03:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just returned from the runway back to Mission Control. Steve Fossett is standing out in the parking lot being interviewed by the press. The man has amazing stamina. It was an absolutely picture perfect day here in Salina. I am waiting to find out when the next press briefing will be to bring you the latest information.

MarylandSpace
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posted 03-03-2005 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just awesome.

Now this engineer guy Rutan . . .

Just awesome.

Garry

Jurg Bolli
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posted 03-03-2005 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, amazing feat. Congratulations to all the folks involved.

Jurg

Paul
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posted 03-03-2005 08:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul   Click Here to Email Paul     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll bet the "moon landing hoaxers" think that this flight was a big fake! They will probably say something like the Global Flyer made 6 or 7 refueling stops and that Mr. Fossett took a couple of naps on the ground, etc., etc....

What an amazing, impressive and incredible accomplishment!! My congratulations go out to Steve Fossett, Burt Rutan, Richard Branson and the entire Global Flyer team!!
Well done!!

I'll bet, too, that they are a tired bunch, especially Steve Fossett, but elated with their successful mission!

I believe, given enough time, that these folks could figure out a way to get us back to the moon and even on to Mars!! WOW!

Paul

Kevin Carrico
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posted 03-03-2005 08:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Steve Fossett and Richard Branson were all smiles this afternoon after Steve's successful landing in Salina at 1:50pm central standard time. The round-the-world flight was completed in 67 hours and 2 minutes and 38 seconds. I waited to see if Steve was going to be able to climb out of the plane and stand under his own power without assistance given the fact that he had been in such a cramped space for so long. With relative ease, Steve stepped out of the plane and onto a small metal step-ladder. He gave his wife Peggy a big hug, and then was greeted by Sir Richard Branson. Sir Richard sprayed Steve from top to bottom with a huge bottle of Champagne shortly after his exit from the GlobalFlyer. Steve was given a microphone and said a few words to the crowd, a crowd which was estimated at sixteen thousand. I remember Steve saying, "I am a very lucky guy--I got to achieve my ambition." Eventually, security around the plane was unable to keep the thousands of curious onlookers at a distance and they flooded in to get a closer look at the plane. By this time, Steve had departed in a convertible supplied by a local dealer. The atmosphere was very festive with a local high school marching band playing and marching around the plane. At one point, Sir Richard Branson approached the band as it was marching past him and Sir Richard began giving "high fives" to individual members of the band. The kids were absolutely thrilled about this. I am guessing that the temperature was in the mid to upper sixties with sunny skies and this made for an outstanding environment for today's events. I returned to mission control after the festivities thinking there would be a press briefing but I believe the next briefing will be Friday morning. I intend to be there.

Paul
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posted 03-03-2005 08:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul   Click Here to Email Paul     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great pictures, Kevin! Thanks for sharing!

Paul

Philip
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posted 03-04-2005 12:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are there any other web sources for high resolution photos?

Kevin Carrico
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posted 03-04-2005 03:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Carrico   Click Here to Email Kevin Carrico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

The final press conference was held this morning with Steve Fossett, Sir Richard Branson, Kevin Stass, and Jon Karkow at a Salina airport hangar where the GlobalFlyer is located. The press were informed that the final fuel load tally was 1,515 pounds of fuel remaining. Several mini-ceremonies took place including a plaque presentation to Steve from a representative of the Guiness Book of World Records. Sir Richard also presented Steve with free airline tickets for life on Virgin Atlantic. And, Steve returned to Sir Richard, the wrist watch that Sir Richard loaned Steve for the flight. Steve commented on the discomfort he experienced in such a limited space and on the many demands required of him at all times during the flight. Steve said that he was very tired at the completion of his flight because he got less than one hour of total sleep over the course of the trip, which included four full nighttimes (four because he was flying east bound). Steve thought he might have been able to last one more day flying before physically and mentally shutting down. Steve also said his background in endurance sports projects combined with his love for flying helped him immensely. He told those in attendance, "pilots just love to fly" and he enjoyed flying such a complicated airplane. Steve did manage to get five hours of sleep last night at the hotel and said that he feels great. He hinted that he has some "ideas" for a new project but stopped short of giving any details. The Smithsonian has expressed an interest in the plane but before it is retired, it will likely be going to the Osh Kosh Airshow in July. Steve said that Dick Rutan actually initiated the idea for Steve to make this journey about five years ago and Dick introduced Steve to his brother Burt and they came up with the plane concept. Steve was asked about what kind of advice he would give others and Steve said, "take up the challenge to do what you are personally interested in." Sir Richard also mentioned that after much prodding, he convinced Steve to write an autobiography. The book, entitled "Chasing The Wind" will be published by Virgin books and should be out by Christmas time. I hope to post a few more photographs that I took this week before concluding my coverage of this awesome event. I know a few users have posted questions within the GlobalFlyer topic and I must admit that I do not know the answers or I would have posted a response. I do appreciate each and every person who logged in and posted a reply--you guys are great!

gliderpilotuk
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posted 03-05-2005 06:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Kevin for an entertaining and informative thread. I felt like I was there!

All the best
Paul Bramley

All times are CT (US)

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