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Voyager’s Global Non-Refueling Adventure Could Start on Saturday

Meteorologists have cleared the experimental aircraft Voyager to take off some time in the next six days, possibly as early as Saturday morning, for an attempt to become the first aircraft to fly nonstop around the world without refueling.

Project spokesman Peter Riva said the spindly aircraft is tentatively scheduled to lift off from Edwards Air Force Base at sunrise on Sunday, although the attempt could come as early as Saturday if the weather holds up. A decision is to be made today on which day would be preferable.

Although storm systems along the course of the 27,000-mile flight could still force a last-minute change of plans, perhaps delaying the flight until next spring, Riva said “a new weather window” has been found across the northern Indian Ocean. That keeps hopes alive that the 12-day flight can still be attempted this late in the year.

Earlier, Voyager officials had indicated that they did not want to try the flight later than the end of November.

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