That is, Global Flyer To Launch Today IF it can get off the ground.
The Global Flyer, another Scaled Composite-built brainchild of Burt Rutan, is a jet-propelled kissin’ cousin to the prop-driven Voyager. Voyager was the first aircraft to ever circumnavigate the globe non-stop, and Global Flyer hopes to do the same, except with a one-man crew. Millionaire wild-man Steve Fossett will be piloting GF, and is confident as ever, but has expressed some concern over the fact that the plane has never taken off with a full load of fuel.
It is one of the major aviation challenges remaining to be done. It is unprecedented. It will be one of the most difficult flights ever because of the duration (around 70 hours) and because it entails flying a new experimental airplane that has never been flown at its full weight. So this will be the ultimate test flight.
Aside from getting the thing off the ground, there’s also the challenge of getting the thing to its 45,000 foot cruising altitude without it getting torn apart by turbulence, and keeping things balanced throughout the estimated 80 hour flight.
I think I’d be a little concerned as well. But I’d sure love to be him.