Jeana Yeager

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jeana Yeager
Full name Jeana Lee Yeager
Born (1952-05-18) May 18, 1952 (age 63)
Fort Worth, Texas[1]
Spouse ? (1971-1976)
William Z. Williams (1992-1994)
Dale A. Rinehart (1994-1996)[2]
Aviation career
Famous flights The first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world
Flight license 1978
Awards Presidential Citizens Medal. Harmon Trophy
FAI De la Vaulx Medal
Collier Trophy
Edward Longstreth Medal

Jeana Yeager is an American aviator. She co-piloted, along with Dick Rutan, the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world in the Rutan Voyager aircraft from December 14 to 23, 1986.[3] The flight took 9 days, 3 minutes, and 44 seconds and covered 24,986 miles (40,211 km), more than doubling the old distance record set by a Boeing B-52 bomber in 1962.

Early Life[edit]

Jeana Lee Yeager was born on May 18, 1952, in Fort Worth, Texas, moving with her family to Garland, Texas, Oxnard, California and Commerce, Texas. She has no relation to aviator Chuck Yeager. Following graduation from High School, Yeager married a police officer when she was 19, but the two were divorced after five years of marriage.[1] She worked as a draftsman and surveyor for a geothermal energy company in Santa Rosa, California, where she obtained her private pilots license in 1978.[4]

Jeana went to work for Robert Truax who was developing a reusable spacecraft. She met Dick Rutan in 1980 and they soon both set distance records in the Rutan VariEze and Long-EZ planes, designed by Dick's brother Burt Rutan. In early 1982, Jeana set a new women's speed record for the 2,000-kilometer closed course and in the fall of 1984 using the VariEze, she set the open-distance record of 2,427.1 statute miles.[4][5]

Round the World Flight[edit]

Jeana and Dick Rutan decided to attempt to fly around the world without refueling. They formed Voyager Aircraft, Incorporated, and Burt Rutan began designing the aircraft. Initially unable to find a commercial sponsor, Jeana started the Voyager Impressive People (VIP) program which became the major source of money to build, test, and fly the aircraft. By mid-1986, Voyager was ready for the flight. She flew as copilot on the 116-hour flight and set a world's absolute distance record--the first time a woman had been listed in an absolute category.


In recognition of the Voyager flight, she received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Reagan (1986), the Harmon Trophy, the FAI De la Vaulx Medal, and is the first woman to have received the Collier Trophy. She also received the Edward Longstreth Medal from the Franklin Institute in 1988.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Jeana Yeager: All you should know about the first woman to fly around the World Non-stop : Worldly Science". INDIATODAY.IN. Oct 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ "T.C. Memo. 2003-109" (PDF). UNITED STATES TAX COURT. April 18, 2003. Retrieved Oct 23, 2015. 
  3. ^ Onkst, David H. "Dick Rutan, Jeana Yeager, and the Flight of the Voyager". U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission. 
  4. ^ a b "Gathering of Eagles Foundation :: Yeager, Jeana L.". Gathering of Eagles Foundation. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Powered Aeroplanes World Records". Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. pp. Yeager – C–1b – Landplanes: take off weight 500 to 1000kg. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Franklin Laureate Database - Edward Longstreth Medal 1988 Laureates". Franklin Institute. Retrieved November 14, 2011.