Fossett set to recreate first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight

Sunday, June 12, 2005

American millionaire and adventurer Steve Fossett and his co-pilot Mark Rebholz are planning to recreate John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown's historic first non-stop transatlantic flight of 1919.

Following the original route, the pair hope to leave Lester's Field in Newfoundland, Canada next weekend and fly to Clifden on the west coast of Ireland. They intend to land at the Ballyconneely golf links near the Irish town. However, the date of departure, 19 June, is very much weather dependent because the pilots will be relying solely on the sun and stars for direction — no instruments are being used for navigation.

The trip, which will be completely in a replica Vickers Vimy, will take approximately 20 hours to complete. The Vickers Vimy was originally designed as a World War One bomber. This particular plane has already been used to recreate significant journeys; having flown from Britain to Australia in 1994, and from England to South Africa in 1999.

Steve Fossett

Mr. Fossett is a multimillionaire who earned his fortune in the American financial markets. He holds 15 world record passages in sailing — including the record for fastest circumnavigation of the world. He was the first person ever to fly a solo, non-stop, aerial circumnavigation of the globe in a jet aircraft. He has also swum the English Channel and driven the 24 hours of Le Mans.

The adventurer also holds the interesting distinction of holding more world records than anyone else — currently 62 world records.

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