Saturday, February 04, 2006

Virgin GlobalFlyer on Friday?

It’s funny how rapidly the weather can change here. Just before 1’O’clock I was taking off through low cloud and rain towards Rochester airport to fill-up with fuel and a bacon sandwich and within an hour, there’s bright blue sky as far as the eye can see.

I suppose this is one of the benefits of living in this part of England, a microclimate which compensates, in part, for the disadvantages of being at the very end of the earth, almost literally.

A note just arrived from the Virgin GlobalFlyer team. The round the world record-breaking trip by Steve Fossett, from Kennedy Space Centre to Manston, now has the green light – weather and permission from the Chinese to over fly – for next Tuesday. This should see the aircraft land at Manston on the Friday afternoon and it looks as if all the proverbial ducks appear to be lined-up for the attempt and Richard Branson will be choosing a suitably bright pullover for the occasion, I’m sure.

In order to take off with the required heavy load of fuel, air temperatures at the Florida spaceport's 3-mile-long space shuttle runway must be no higher than 11°C, so that the air is dense enough to provide sufficient lift.

If it is successful, the flight would eclipse the previous distance record for an aircraft not refuelled in flight, set in 1986 by Dick Rutan and Jeanna Yeager in an aircraft called Voyager. Both Voyager and GlobalFlyer were designed by Dick's brother, Burt Rutan, who also designed the SpaceShipOne craft that won the X-Prize.

The distance record for an aeroplane flight set by Rutan and Yeager was 40,212 kilometres (25,000 miles). The longest voyage by any kind of aircraft was the 41,978 km (26,100 miles) balloon flight by Breitling Orbiter in 1999.

However, GlobalFlyer intends to fly 46,000 km (28,600 miles), arriving at Manston in Kent 80 hours later and and demonstrating the advances in aircraft design technology over the last two decades. In 2005, GlobalFlyer completed a solo around-the-world flight, piloted by Fossett.

I see the Daily Mail is reporting today that the population of Britain, the most overcrowded nation in Europe, has passed 60 million for the first time, perhaps more, because the government has admitted that it has “lost” 250,000 failed asylum seekers, who they would rather like to leave the country and go home now, “Please.”


Anonymous said...

The more the merrier! No politicians actually asked the British people in the 50s and 60s if they wanted to be a multicultural society so why worry now. Its happened and the change is irreversible. So what the hell, let another 250,000 illegal immigrants stay and let in whoever wants to come in the future. Me? I'm off to rural France and will be seeking French nationality as soon as I can, I don't know what it means to be British anymore. Bye to you all.

Nethercourt said...

You reckon France has less of a problem??

Enjoy..... bye!

Cllr David Green said...

Just how much effect can, by your own figures, 0.42% of the population have?

Anonymous said...

Depends how much benefit they are claiming I suppose!

DrMoores said...

If they have absconded then they are unlikely to be claiming benefit.. in their real names anyway. However, we are likely to see some impact from even .42% which are those they are looking for. I think the "real" figure given by Migration Watch is rather higher.

Anonymous said...

It's not the immigrants but the home-grown riff-raff that cause the trouble here.

I have yet to see an immigrant driving into my car and failing to leave details, or running me off my motorcycle causing 1000s of pounds of damage and injuries and then doing a runner.

No, it's the indigenous population that seems to think the world owes them a living, and that they should be able to get away with anything and everything.

And it's the complacent, incompetent home-grown police who do absolutely nothing and treat this sort of thing as 'low-level' crime. And they're backed up by the spineless, cow-towing politicians who buy the police's continual bleating about 'lack of resources'. For goodness sake, you can't even report a car crime round here on a Sunday, because the ******* police station is shut!

It's no better in France, but it's a hell of a lot better in Australia, which is where my other half comes from, and where we'll be off to soon with a cheery 'good riddance' to the lot of you. Not a day passes when I don't thank my lucky stars I have that option.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

I have a lot of friends who feel the same way as the above anon. Most of them left the UK already, and I hear nothing but glowing reports from them about either Australia or Canada, on how good things are there.
So, I thought it was time to ask if the Government are doing much, if anything, to encourage Brits to stay here?

Anonymous said...

In the last five to ten years a number of my friends have left Kent and made new lives for themselves in Canada, New Zealand etc... All left sighting the growing break down of law and order the rise of all things 'chav'. All of them were educated professionals. Would the last one out please switch off the lights!

Anonymous said...

The police in Australia have a very peculiar attitude towards crime. They seem to think it's their job to pursue criminals and bring them to justice. That means all criminals, and anyone who is breaking the law, no matter who they are, and no matter how 'trivial' the offence. Which means that most people know where the line is, and that if they cross it there will definitely be consequences.

Try introducing that novel idea to the plods over here. All they seem interested in is community relations, and gunning down the odd innocent Brazilian.

How ironic that the country where we used to transport our criminals is now a much safer and law-abiding place than this ****ed little island can ever hope to be.

James Maskell said...

It appears the Virgin GlobalFlyer's non stop flight has been postponed due to mechanical problems (fuel leak) and poor weather.

Its expected that he'll have another go tomorrow