Adventurer and millionaire Steve Fossett, known for his hair raising attempts to fly a balloon around the world several years ago, succeeded in flying solo non-stop around the world in a jet aircraft, under the watchful eye of Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson. The Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer completed the circumnavigation in just over 67 hours, well under the anticipated flight time of 80 hours. This smashed the old record by several days. That old record was set in 1986 by the propeller driven airplane Voyager, designed and flown by Burt Rutan. Rutan also designed the Global Flyer and SpaceShipOne, the first civilian spacecraft.
It was touch and go towards the end, as the aircraft lost several thousand pounds of jet fuel shortly after takeoff. Luckily Fossett encountered favorable tail winds that let him compensate for the 14% fuel loss.