On Dec. 23, 1986, the experimental airplane Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, completed the first non-stop, around-the-world flight without refueling as it landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
The journey of 25,012 miles set records for distance flown without refueling and for endurance by aviators on such a flight. The trip, which began and ended at Edwards Air Force Base, 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles, took 9 days 3 minutes 44 seconds.
”This was the last major event of atmospheric flight,” Richard G. Rutan, 48 years old, said at a news conference after he landed the plane. ”That we did it as private citizens says a lot about freedom in America.”