The Flight of the Voyager With AM-Voyager Bjt
MOJAVE, Calif. (AP) _ Here is a chronology of Voyager’s non-stop, unrefueled flight around the world:
July 15 - Voyager completes a 111-hour, 11,600.9-mile test flight over the Pacific between San Luis Obispo and San Francisco, setting the world’s distance record for a closed-course flight. Pilots Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager say they are exhausted.
Sept. 30 - An emergency landing after one of its two propellers malfunctions ends what was set to be Voyager’s final test flight. The plane had flown more than 50 times before and was scheduled to begin its historic flight around the world in September. A rear engine is sent back to manufacturers for modifications, further delaying the flight.
Oct. 2 - Global weather conditions deteriorate, but Yeager says, ″The window of opportunity is still open.″ Repairs and modifications to the aircraft are made during October.
November - A series of short test flights are successfully completed and spokesmen say the around-the-world flight must begin by mid-December or risk postponement until spring due to worsening weather over the Indian Ocean.
Dec. 13 - After a series of delays because of tropical thunderstorms over the Pacific and Indian oceans and poor local weather conditions, meteorologists give final approval. Later that day, however, Yeager is examined by doctors for cold symptoms that threaten to delay the flight again.
Dec. 14 - Voyager takes off a few minutes after 8 a.m. PST from Edwards Air Force Base but drags and damages both wingtips on the runway; it continues its flight with frayed wingtips at least two feet shorter.
Dec. 15 - Voyager reaches the international dateline with favorable high winds from a storm near Guam increasing the plane’s 123 mph cruising speed.
Dec. 16 - Fears mount that detours to avoid storms have used too much fuel as Voyager crosses Malaysia shortly after 7 a.m. PST. With Yeager at the controls, Voyager flies into towering rain clouds near the Philippines, heading toward Singapore. The flight surgeon orders more rest for Rutan, who is said to be suffering from fatigue.
Dec. 18 - Voyager crosses the midpoint in its journey and heads into Africa over Somalia as worries over fuel supplies diminish. The plane surpasses a distance record of 12,532 miles for unfueled straight-line flight set by a U.S. Air Force B-52 in 1962.
Dec. 19 - Voyager crosses out of Africa over the Bight of Biafra. Doctors say the two pilots may temporarily lose up to 30 percent of their hearing because of the engine’s constant drone. Yeager says she is sore and bruised from turbulence over Africa.
Dec. 20 - Voyager’s tired crew forgets to add oil to the rear engine but the subsequent rise in engine temperature is fixed when 1.7 quarts of oil are added over the Atlantic. Spokesman Peter Riva says it appears the crew failed to check the oil level for a day and a half when it should have been monitored every six hours. ″They just got sort of complacent and let the engine run without adding oil,″ said Glenn Maben, the project’s engine specialist.
Dec. 21 - Voyager rounds the northeast coast of South America.
Dec. 22 - Voyager heads up the Pacific Coast of Mexico after covering more than 23,000 miles, a day before an earlier-than-scheduled landing at Edwards Air Force Base.