Feeds

GlobalFlyer and Fossett take to the skies

Around the world in 80 hours

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Virgin GlobalFlyer, piloted by Steve Fossett, successfully lifted off at 0500GMT this morning from Salina, Kansas. Fossett aims to make the first non-stop solo flight around the world without refuelling aboard the Burt Rutan-designed vehicle which took to the skies carrying four times its own weight in fuel.

The take-off was considered the most dangerous part of the mission due to the vast fuel load, but the BBC reports that Fossett successfully got off the ground before climbing to an initial altitude of 39,000ft (11.8km) in around two hours. Subsequently, GlobalFlyer continued to climb at just eight feet (2.4m) per minute en route to its cruising altitude of 49,000ft (15km).

Relieved sponsor Richard Branson described the take-off as "an emotional moment" and admitted to "enormous relief when it actually came off the ground". He has offered Fossett - his co-pilot in an ill-fated 1990s attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon - free Virgin Airways flights for life if he completes the mission. The attempt is expect to last around 80 hours. ®

Related stories

Around-the-world jet adventure is go
Sigourney Weaver books flight with Virgin Galactic
Virgin space tourists will blast off to Bowie

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.