Raw Data: Steve Fossett Bio

— Steve Fossett was born in 1944 in California. He's 60 years old.

— He started work as a stockbroker.

— Fossett founded Lakota Trading and Marathon Securities and became a billionaire.

— He married his wife Peggy in 1967.

Solo Around-the-World Flight


— Fossett is trying to be the first person to fly a solo, nonstop flight around the world.

— That's a 23,000-mile trip.

— He's flying the "Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer."

— It has 13 gas tanks, which can hold 18,100 pounds of fuel.

— The flight is financed by Richard Branson, a longtime friend and fellow adventurer.

— Fossett took off from Salina, Kansas on Monday, February 28.


— Guiness World Records says Fossett must do more than set an aviation first to get in their book.

— His flight team says he could break between 3 and 7 records for speed and time.

— But they are waiting until the flight lands to release those.

Flight Details

— Fossett's path is taking him past: Montreal, London, Paris, Rome, Cairo, Karachi, Calcutta, Shanghai, Tokyo, Honolulu and Los Angeles.

— He's flying at an altitude of 45,000 feet.

— His cabin is designed to make him feel like he's at 10,000 feet.

— To set a record, Fossett must start and end at the same airfield.

— And he must cross all meridians of the globe. Meridians run north to south on the globe.

— He cannot fly near the North or South Pole.

— The flight team expected the flight to take less than 80 hours.

The Plane

— Has a cockpit seven feet long.

— It has a reclining seat.

— At takeoff, 83% of the plane's weight was from fuel.

— The plane has a 114-foot wingspan.

— It's 44 feet long and 13 feet high.

— It weighs 3350 pounds when empty.

— The plane was designed around aerodynamics, to take advantage of winds as much as possible.

Balloon Record

— Fossett set the solo balloon record on July 4, 1998.

— He was the first to circumnavigate the world in a balloon.

— Fossett made the trip in 13 days, 12 hours, and five minutes.

— On that trip, he set the record for speed around the world.

— Other records included the fastest speed by manned balloon and 24-hour balloon distance record.

— That successful flight was Fossett's sixth try.

Other Aviation Records

— Fossett has set more than ten world records for flight.

— Holds the record for transcontinental flights in the U.S. and Australia.

— He flew the fastest time ever in a non-supersonic airplane. He hit 742 miles per hour.

— And he and a partner set 9 records for gliders.

Sailing Records

— Overall, Fossett has set 21 world sailing records.

— Today, 14 of those records stand.

— In October 2001, Steve and his team crossed the Atlantic in a record 4 days, 17 hours.

— That beat the previous record by 43 hours.

— He recently set the "Absolute Around the World" sailing record.

And There's More

— Fossett has swum across the English Channel.

— He's been in the Iron Man Triathlon.

— And he's raced in the "24 hours of Le Mans" twice. Some consider the event to be the toughest endurance road race in the world.