The Solar Impulse – on the longest nonstop leg of its Round-The-World attempt has now broken the record for both longest solo flight and longest SOLAR flight (by time). André Borschberg and the Swiss team are attempting to set the record for circling the globe without using a single drop of fuel.
Not only from Japan to Hawaii – that’s the hardest, longest, most dangerous part.
But around the world.
The first-in-flight record books are filled with points-on-a-graph success stories all heading toward one goal… flight without limitations of time or distance.
Flying like a bird is not enough for mankind, we must fly like the wind.
Without polluting it.
Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight is the most famous of the record setters. He flew solo nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.
But before that was the first round-the-world flight in 1924. Not nonstop, not solo. It was four biplanes under the command of Major Martin. That record was broken seven years later by Wiley Post who flew it solo, in a Lockeed Vega.
In 1949 came the first nonstop round-the-world flight, in a B-50A Superfortress built by Boeing. Eight years later in 1957, three Boeing B-52 bombers topped that record by flying round-the-world nonstop by jet engine.
With round-the-world and nonstop accomplished, many years went by without a technological record-breaking advance in aviation. Not until after the 1970s and the energy crisis. Then the race turned to fuel efficiency.
In 1986, Rutan and Yeager flew round-the-world, nonstop, without refueling. The plane was the Voyager – and a whole new technology.
Naturally, the next record had to be round-the-world, nonstop, without refueling, solo. That was set in 2005 by Steve Fossett with the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer.
The team behind the Solar Impulse is blowing the record book sky high now. Forget “without refueling”… they are going for “without fuel” in their round-the-world flight.
And in this leg, claiming longest nonstop solo – even aside from without fuel.
Congratulations Solar Impulse. Those of us sitting under skies changed by global warming cheer you on.
Congratulations to American Pharoah, winning the Triple Crown for the first time in decades! I’ve been watching the Belmont Stakes for so many years in a row in the hopes of seeing a Triple Crown winner, and today is the day.
Col. C. J. Tippett and Liz Whitney Tippett were all about racing. Liz was a racehorse owner, with high profile horses in the USA and Australia, including “Igloo” in the 1970’s. She bred, trained, and raced horses from her own stable at Llangollen, Virginia, under her own colors – the purple and fuchsia.
As I wrote the biography of Colonel C. J. Tippett, “When No One Else Would Fly”, I was immersed in Liz’s world as well. Her story blends with Tip’s near the end of the book as he left civil aviation and entered joined Liz in the business of thoroughbred racing.
And I went with him – visiting him at the farms and ranches in California and Virginia and spending part of a summer at Llangollen. I joined Liz and Tip at the racecourse and picked a winner. I sat in on an after-dinner foal naming session and contributed a name. I rode as groom with the carriage team to a lawn party and held the bridles as the team snacked on my knuckles.
One day, I’ll write Liz’s story. It is a story of thoroughbred racing history just as Tip’s is a story of aviation history.
Col. C. J. Tippett and Liz Whitney Tippett would have loved the 2015 Belmont stakes and the winning of the Triple Crown for the first time since their own heyday in the racing world.
Email me at email@example.com with “Liz Book” in the subject, to be added to my Liz book update list.