Yeager in 1986 in front of Voyager.
Presidential Citizens Medal
Jeana Yeager and Dick Rutan.
Jeana Yeager and Dick Rutan in front of Voyager.
Jeana Yeager and Dick Rutan.
Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager in Voyager’s cramped cockpit.
(The pilots, who designed and flew the "Voyager" around th...)
The pilots, who designed and flew the "Voyager" around the world, tell of the cramped quarters, constant noise, turbulent trip and other struggles they faced in realizing the dream of their historic flight.
Jeana studied energy, aerospace design and commercial engineer drafting. Also, in 1978, at the age of 26, she earned her private pilot's license.
In addition, she received an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree in Science and Technology from the Central New England College.
At the beginning of her career, in 1977, Jeana worked as an engineer and administrator at Thermogenics in Santa Rosa, California. In 1978, she obtained her private pilot's license, and the same year, Jeana found a job as a draftsman at Project Private Enterprise, run by Bob Truax. The company's aim was to create a reusable launch vehicle.
In 1980, Jeana got acquainted with the brothers Dick Rutan and Burt Rutan and was invited to work at their company as a test-pilot. Soon, together with Dick Rutan, Yeager set distance records in the Rutan VariEze and Long-EZ planes, designed by Burt Rutan.
Some time later, Dick and Jeana came up with the idea to fly around the world without refueling. In 1981, they established Voyager Aircraft, Inc., and Dick's brother, Burt Rutan, began designing the aircraft. Initially, they had no idea, where to take money for the project, but then, Jeana started the Voyager Impressive People (VIP) program, which became the major source of money to build, test and fly the aircraft. From December 14 till December 23, 1986, Jeana, together with Dick Rutan, co-piloted the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world in the Rutan Voyager aircraft.
Some time earlier, in 1982, Jeana set a 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.
Jeana's relationship with Dick Rutan was originally presented to the public as a simple friendship until the publication of the book "Voyager" in 1987, which not only detailed the years of work the pair, devoted to the project, but also told of how they fell in love and lived together in Mojave, California. The romantic relationship was severed during the months prior to the record-setting flight, but a friendship and professional relationship continued so that they might complete the project and make the hundreds of personal appearances, that were scheduled afterward.
After the publication of the book, Yeager expressed her interest in becoming a helicopter pilot and in pursuing harness racing.
(The pilots, who designed and flew the "Voyager" around th...)1987
Physical Characteristics: Jeana is a slight woman of about 100 pounds and 5-feet, 4-inches tall.
Jeana was briefly married to a police officer, when she was 19, but divorced him after two years.