Thursday, March 03, 2005

Around the world in 67 hours

Congratulations to Steve Fossett for his piloting of the first non-stop, non-refueling solo flight around the world in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer. Doing anything for 67 hours is quite an achievement; piloting a fragile experimental jet around the world when you're not sure you even have enough fuel and landing it safely is an amazing feat. Steve was also the first (only, to date?) person to fly non-stop solo around the world in a balloon, and that took several tries. Now, Steve, it's time for your next challenge: To be the first person to fly around the world, non-stop, without refueling, in a human-powered aircraft. Burt Rutan, after your great work on SpaceshipOne and GlobalFlyer, your job is to make an improved version of the Gossamer Condor, which was the first sustained human-powered aircraft. Your version must be capable of carrying one pilot and 10,000 gallons of Gatorade and Jolt Cola. Richard Branson, after financing SpaceshipOne and GlobalFlyer and the upcoming VirginGalactic, and other amazing feats of engineering, your task is to give Burt Rutan as much money as he wants. I am certain you gentlemen will rise to the challenge and soon we'll all have our own human-powered sub-orbital flying cars.

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