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The Region

November 21, 1986

New propellers could provide an unexpected margin of safety for the projected round-the-world flight of the Voyager experimental airplane, project spokesman Peter Riva said after a test flight from Mojave Civilian Flight Test Center. Riva said pilots Dick Rutan and Jeanna Yeager, who plan to fly the Voyager around the world without landing or refueling, were "thrilled" by results of their flight intended to assess performance with the new aluminum propellers that were installed in the lightweight craft after a wooden propeller split in flight Sept. 20. Riva said the new propellers boosted the plane's efficiency by almost 13%. "In case they hit headwinds, that gives them more range," Riva said. "The later and later we get in the year the more possible it is to hit storms, and this gives them more cushion." Weather permitting, the team hopes Voyager will take off a week from today for a 27,000-mile flight around the globe.

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