10-Minute Flight Rates Record
For the man who set the record for the longest endurance flight ever, the latest notch on Dick Rutan's yoke was over in the blink of an eye -- and it probably won't stand as a record for much longer. Last Saturday, Rutan, who with Jeana Yeager flew around the world nonstop in 1986, took a 10-minute hop in XCOR's EZ-Rocket from Mojave to California City. It was the first time a rocket-powered plane had ever made a point-to-point flight with the pilot in control for most phases of flight. It was also the EZ-Rocket's last flight. XCOR spokeswoman Aleta Jackson told Space.com that after 25 flights they've learned what they needed to from the modified Long EZ. The aircraft taking part in the newly formed Rocket Racing League will be based on the EZ-Rocket and the airframes will be supplied by Velocity Aircraft, of San Sebastian, Fla. XCOR will do the final assembly of the racers, which are planned to enter competition next October. The league is the creation of X Prize founder Peter Diamandis.