— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.