Inducted in 1987
First To Circumnavigate The Globe Non-Stop Without Refueling, 1986
Burt Rutan, 1943 –
Dick Rutan, 1938 –
Jeana Yeager, 1952 –
The “Voyager” was the first airplane to circumnavigate the globe non-stop, without refueling. The journey began on December 14, 1986, at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and ended nine days later at the same place.
Designer Burt Rutan and pilots Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager had devoted five years to building and flight-testing the airplane. Constructed of composite materials, Voyager’s total weight was 9,000 pounds, including 7,000 pounds of fuel. The canard wing design, or forward elevator, similar to that successfully used by the Wright brothers in 1903, provided additional lift and improved the plane’s efficiency and range.
The Voyager opened the door for a new generation of airplanes. Capable of flying over 28,000 miles without refueling, it’s performance far surpassed the range of other aircraft.