In our eighth year working with Rolls-Royce and The National Aviation Heritage Invitational Airmail Greetings is elated to report, Mission Accomplished, AND this one is going right into the Smithsonian A&S Museum too!!!!
In celebration the 25th anniversary of Voyager's world record-breaking non-stop flight this original commemorative artwork was developed by Airmail's Joe Jones and presented by Director, Ken Perich and the National Aviation Heritage Invitational to fittingly honor Voyager's pilot, Dick Rutan and his historic flight.
Dick Rutan and artist, Joe Jones will be available for poster signings and to meet with the public throughout the 2011 National Championship Air Races and Air Show, at Reno's Stead Field September 14th through 18th.
Directly inspired by the personal accounts by this aviation legend shared first-hand with Jones, Rutan explained that there were many pivotal and dangerous points along this historic flight. Each could have made a fitting composition in itself. From the moment Rutan taxied the lumbering, fuel-filled composite aircraft across the ramp, her wingtips dragging on the ground with her massive 110' wing-span, Rutan and Yeager held their breath as she grudgingly launched skyward fully loosing their first winglet shortly after launch. Designed with only one rudder control surface she would also soon lose her other winglet later in the flight.
Navigating the globe, Voyager's crew encountered flight threatening weather many times while surviving on mere hours of sleep. Among many special moments as 'PIC' Pilot In Command, Rutan recalled the feeling of the point of no return as they pushed forward over a seemingly endless ocean. As there was some question to the life of the main bearings in the Continental engines - ditching over water was a real concern. Fortune on their side, immediately after the completion of this historic journey the bearings give out just as they landed back at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
Be on hand Sunday, 18th at Reno, just before the NAHI award ceremony as both Dick Rutan and Joe Jones will personally be presenting General Jack Dailey, director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum an autographed and framed print to the Smithsonian A&S to be put on permanent display in Washington DC. Blue Skies indeed!