AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake The flight will be piloted by Steve Fossett, who made a 20,373-mile solo nonstop flight around the world in the GlobalFlyer that concluded on March 3. The GlobalFlyer was designed by Burt Rutan and built at his Scaled Composites company at the Mojave Airport. The world record for a nonstop flight is held by Voyager, which was also designed by Rutan. The aircraft flew for 24,987 miles around the world in 1986. The longest flight by a balloon is held by the Breitling Orbiter 3, which flew for 25,361 miles in 1999. During the attempt for the longest flight, Fossett is expected to pilot the aircraft to altitudes of about 45,000 feet and at speeds faster than 285 mph. MOJAVE – The Mojave-built GlobalFlyer is being readied for another world record-setting flight, this time to break longest-flight records set by its Voyager predecessor in 1986 and a balloon in 1999. Virgin Atlantic Airways has signed an agreement with NASA to use Kennedy Space Center in Florida as the starting point for the flight, which is to cover 29,000 miles and end in London. No exact date has been set, but the flight is expected to take place in February. “Launching from the Kennedy Space Center at NASA will give both pilot and aircraft the ultimate launch pad for this ultimate flight,” said Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Atlantic Airways. “We’re excited to be able to partner with NASA on this attempt, as it is a perfect combination of innovation and aspiration.” During Fossett’s around-the-world flight, GlobalFlyer had a mysterious loss of more than 3,000 pounds of fuel. Despite that, Fossett was able to complete the flight and still had 1,500 pounds of fuel when he landed. Engineers established that the fuel escaped through vents in the fuel tank behind the engine. Scaled Composites has since modified the aircraft. Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!