Wed, May 24, 2006
Donates Record-Setting Plane To NASM
For any other aircraft, a flight from Kansas to Washington, DC
would be a cross-country trek; for adventurer Steve Fossett and the
Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, however, Tuesday's flight from Salina
seems little more than a regional jaunt for a $100 hamburger... but
it was likely the last time the record-setting aircraft will soar
through the sky.
"We had a wonderful time in Salina," said the millionaire
adventurer, who used Kansas State University's aviation school as
the base for several flights -- including Fossett's first round-the-world flight in
2005 and, most recently, the closed-circuit-record flight in
March. His second round-the-world flight -- to set the
longest flight distance without refueling record -- took off from
Florida's Kennedy Space Center, and landed in Bournemouth,
"This will be the final flight of the GlobalFlyer," Fossett said
Tuesday. "It's had a long, successful run over two years."
The Associated Press reports Fossett plans to donate the
Globalflyer to the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F.
Udvar-Hazy Center, near Washington's Dulles International Airport.
The Burt Rutan-designed airplane is too be displayed in the Boeing
Aviation Hangar... appropriately, hanging in the air.
The aircraft's record-setting Williams turbofan engine will be
displayed underneath the GlobalFlyer, at ground level.
Not content to rest on his laurels, Fossett is also reportedly
planning yet another record-setting aerial jaunt. While he declined
to list specifics, the AP reports Fossett alluded to an attempt to
fly a glider into the stratosphere, which begins nine miles above
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