Around the World in a Flying Fuel Tank

– Outsiders look at the GlobalFlyer, a single-seat airplane designed
to make the first solo, nonstop, unrefueled
flight around the world, and wonder how a pilot could function for
70 hours in a cigar-shaped cabin so snug he cannot even get out of
his seat.

Technicians at Scaled Composites, the company that built the plane, like to
call it the Flying Fuel Tank. At takeoff – on Jan. 4 or as soon thereafter
as the weather permits – it will weigh as much as a 50-seat commuter plane.
If it is successful, it will land nearly three days later weighing less than
a medium-size S.U.V.

On a recent test flight here it did not so much take off like a jet (which
technically it is) as glide into the sky. Fully loaded, it will need more than
two miles of runway to lift off.

The GlobalFlyer is first of all a feat of engineering – building a plane strong
enough to climb into the sky with so much fuel and efficient enough to fly
almost 20,000 miles without refueling. It is also a test of the pilot’s skill
and of human endurance.

article from the
New York Times

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One Response to Around the World in a Flying Fuel Tank

  1. Gangster66 says:

    Not that I look like models generally, but I could not look less like this one. ,

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