GlobalFlyer Basing at Kansas Airport
Virgin Atlantic selected Salina, Kan., as its base and control center for a solo, nonstop, unrefueled around-the-world record attempt in a single-engine jet piloted by adventurer Steve Fossett. The approximately 80-hour flight in the Williams FJ44-3 powered GlobalFlyer is scheduled to take place early this month. Virgin Atlantic’s choice of Salina Municipal Airport was driven by the airport’s location in the central U.S.; its recently renovated runway, which is 12,300 feet long and 50 feet wide; and the availability of adjacent Kansas State University facilities for mission control. Fossett also advocated a central U.S. launch and landing location to allow for alternate airports in case of fuel starvation.