steve fossett, adventurer and enterprenuer, broke a work record by flying a non-stop solo flight around the world. he began his trip in salina, ks, on monday (february 28, 2005) and returned for landing in salina, ks, on thursday, march 3. the official time for the flight was 67 hours, two minutes and 38 seconds. the global flyer was made of carbon fiber, which makes it light enough to carry the engines, fuel, and instruments at high altitudes, making a flight of this kind more possible.
i wasn't so much interested in the flight itself, although it is a milestone in aviation history that i might find interesting in the future to have "experienced," but more interested in the idea that the trip began and ended in kansas. i'm not sure why the team chose kansas, either, but i did read that weather patterns and accessibility to airport and supplies were all key factors. whatever the reason, i was glad to see kansas get some good press and some national and/or international notice for the activity.
also related to the flight, and probably of more interest to me personally, stan herd (landscape artist) designed a work of art near the airport for fossett to see as he was taking off and landing -- a huge depiction of da vinci's glider w/ the words "da vinci 1500, global flyer 2005". herd had recently read the da vinci code and admits he has "always been a big fan of leonardo da vinci. he was more than just an artist. he was an original thinker and an adventurer." an enthusiast of the project put $5000 toward the cost of the art project to help cover the cost of supplies, rent the property for the display, and personal time and effort of the artist.
i'm sure some photographs of the finished design will be available for sale, and i might even be interested in purchasing one of these. da vinci is one of the people in history that i would most like to meet, just for the intelligent conversation and the opportunity to see an artist at work. plus, this event has introduced me to the work of another artist whose work i find fascinating, as there is really not much more beautiful than nature itself (even if it is manipulated into art).
now that i have been "introduced" to the work of this artist, i'll be watching for more projects by him in the future. i always find it interesting to watch the expansion of an artist's career, regardless of what type of art.