Voyager Test Solves Glitch With Cooling
The Voyager aircraft, designed to circle the world without refueling, completed one of its last planned test flights Friday in the Mojave Desert after a nagging mechanical glitch was repaired, officials said.
“We’re set to go ahead,” Peter Riva, spokesman for the Voyager project, said after the spindly craft’s 63rd test flight. “The engine overheating problem was solved and another test is scheduled for early Sunday.”
Riva said the stubborn problem was traced to the cooling system and was finally solved by using a higher grade of oil.
Designers of the Voyager are moving ahead with plans to begin the record-setting global flight next week while weather conditions are still favorable.
Pilot Dick Rutan and co-pilot Jeana Yeager, no relation to famed test pilot Chuck Yeager, also took the Voyager up Thursday, but the engine cooling problem cut the flight to one hour, the same amount of time the craft flew Friday.
On Sunday, the Voyager is scheduled to make a test flight with 6,500 pounds of fuel. The test will be followed by another with the craft loaded with 8,000 pounds of fuel.