pilot • entrepreneur • adventurer
On a wing and a dream, a small group of people set out to achieve the impossible — to fly around the world without stopping and without refueling. It was originally believed the project would take about 18 months. Design, construction, flight route and permissions, and testing stretched that 18 month projection to nearly six years.
In early December of 1986, Voyager was flown to Edwards Air Force Base in California. She was fueled for hours and on December 14, 1986, Voyager took off on what would become The World's Longest Flight.
Voyager's flight was the first-ever, non-stop, unrefueled flight around the world. It took place between December 14 and December 23, 1986.
This milestone flight took 9 days, 3 minutes and 44 seconds.
The absolute world distance records set during that flight remain unchallenged today.
To this day, no aircraft has flown more air miles than the Voyager's 26,358 statute miles. Not even close. (The FAI accredited distance at 40,212 km.
The structural weight of the Voyager aircraft was only 939 pounds.
When the airplane took off full of fuel, pilots and supplies, the gross take off weight was 9,694.5 pounds. The average altitude flown was about 11,000 feet. The Voyager took off from and landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
There were two crew members on board, Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager. Dick's brother, Burt Rutan, who is a world-renowned airplane designer, designed the airplane.
The Voyager was built in Mojave, California. It took five years to build and test the airplane before taking off on its remarkable record-setting flight.
There were 99 ground volunteers that participated in the flight with weather, communications, fabrication, office staff, gift shop staff and more.
Primarily individual contributions, and a few product equipment sponsors financed the Voyager. The project did not receive any government sponsorship.
Four days after landing, President Ronald Reagan presented the Voyager crew and it's designer with the Presidential Citizenship Medal. Awarded only 16 times previously in history.
To find out more about the Voyager project and flight, we suggest you order Dick's new book The Next Five Minutes.
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