women in aviation and space history

Jeana Yeager

Jeana Yeager
WEB11721-2010
Visions

Jeana Yeager

South Lobby (108)

On December 14, 1986 Jeana Yeager and Dick Rutan took off from Edwards Air Force Base to break one of aviation's last records: to fly around the world non-stop and non-refueled. The round-the-world flight of Voyager lasted nine days, three minutes, and forty-four seconds, finishing back at Edwards on December 23, 1986. Jeana participated in the building of the aircraft, and she piloted Voyager for many hours during the multi-record flight. Prior to the flight, Yeager (no relation to General Chuck Yeager) worked in engineering design and set women's records in Rutan aircraft. For the Voyager flight, she received extensive over-water navigation and communications training. Throughout the flight, the physical and mental capabilities of the pilots were continually tested by mechanical and severe weather problems, as well as cramped quarters (the cockpit being roughly the size of phone booth). However both pilots were in remarkably good condition at the end of the flight. Since then, Yeager has traveled around the world for aviation education presentations and speaking engagements. Yeager and Rutan earned the Collier Trophy, aviation's highest award, for their flight in Voyager.

(information compiled by D. Cochrane and P. Ramirez)