Flight endurance record

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The flight endurance record is the longest amount of time an aircraft of a particular category spent in flight without landing. It can be a solo event, or multiple people can take turns piloting the aircraft, as long as all pilots remain in the aircraft. The limit initially was the amount of fuel that could be stored for the flight, but aerial refueling extended that parameter. Due to safety concerns, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) no longer recognizes new records for the duration of manned airplane or glider flights and has never recognized any duration records for helicopters.

Airplane[edit]

Non-Refueled, Manned[edit]

Duration (hhh:mm:ss) Date Location Pilots Aircraft Comments Reference
216:03:44 December 14–23, 1986 Edwards Air Force Base, circumnavigation Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager Rutan Voyager [1]
84:32:00 May 25–28, 1931 Jacksonville, Florida Walter Edwin Lees and Frederic Brossy Bellanca J2 Last record recognized by FAI [2]
75:23:07 February 26 to March 1, 1931 La Sénia, Algeria Lucien Bossoutrot and Maurice Rossi Blériot 110 [3]
67:13:55 May 30 to June 2, 1930 Montecelio, Italy Umberto Maddalena and Fausto Cecconi Savoia-Marchetti S.64 [4]
65:25:00 July 5–7, 1928 Dessau, Germany Johann Risztics and Wilhelm Zimmermann Junkers W 33 Also surpassed the refueled record [5]
52:22:31.8 August 3–5, 1927 Dessau, Germany Cornelius Edzard and Johann Risztics Junkers W 33 [6]
51:11:25 April 12–14, 1927 Long Island, New York Clarence Duncan Chamberlin and Bertrand Blanchard Acosta Bellanca Cabin Monoplane [7]
45:11:59 August 7–9, 1925 Chartres, France Maurice Drouhin and Landry Jules Farman F.60 Goliath [8]
37:59:10 July 16–17, 1924 Chartres, France Etienne Coupet and Maurice Drouhin Farman F-60 Also surpassed the refueled record [9]
36:04:34 April 16–17, 1923 Wilbur Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio Oakley George Kelly and John Arthur Macready Fokker T-2 [10]
34:14:07 October 14–15, 1922 Le Bourget, France Lucien Bossoutrot and Robert Drouhin Farman F.60 Goliath [11]
26:19:35 December 29–30, 1921 Roosevelt Field, New York;[12] FAI record says Jacksonville, Florida Edward A. Stinson and Lloyd Bertaud Junkers-Larsen 6 First record recognized by FAI [13]
24:19:07 June 3–4, 1920 Ville Sauvage la Dordogne, France Lucien Bossoutrot and Jean Bernard Farman F.60 Goliath [14]
24:12:00 July 10–11, 1914 Johannisthal Air Field near Berlin, Germany Reinhold Böhm Albatros biplane [15][16]
21:49:00 June 28–29, 1914 Johannisthal Air Field near Berlin, Germany Werner Landmann Albatros biplane [17]
13:22:00 September 11, 1912 Étampes airfield in France Alexandre Fourny (Fourney) Maurice Farman MF-2 [18][19]
11:01:29 September 1, 1911 Buc, France Alexandre Fourny (Fourney) Maurice Farman biplane [20][21]
08:12:45 December 18, 1910 Étampes airfield in France Henri Farman Maurice Farman biplane [22]
06:01:00 October 28, 1910 Buc, France Maurice Tabuteau Maurice Farman MF-2 [23]
05:03:05 July 10, 1910 Reims, France Jan Olieslagers Blériot monoplane [24][25]
04:17:35 November 3, 1909 Mourmelon-le-Grand, France Henri Farman H. Farman [26]
02:18:33.6 December 31, 1908 Camp d’Auvours near Le Mans, France Wilbur Wright Wright Model A [27]
01:54:00.4 December 18, 1908 Camp d’Auvours near Le Mans, France Wilbur Wright Wright Model A [28]
01:31:25.8 September 21, 1908 Camp d’Auvours near Le Mans, France Wilbur Wright Wright Model A [29]
01:14:20 September 12, 1908 Fort Myer, Virginia Orville Wright Wright Model A [30]
01:10:24 September 11, 1908 Fort Myer, Virginia Orville Wright Wright Model A [31]
01:05:52 September 10, 1908 Fort Myer, Virginia Orville Wright Wright Model A [32]
01:02:15 September 9, 1908 Fort Myer, Virginia Orville Wright Wright Model A [33]
00:59:23.8 October 5, 1905 Huffman Prairie, Ohio Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer III [34]
00:33:17 October 4, 1905 Huffman Prairie, Ohio Orville Wright Wright Flyer III [35]
00:26:11.2 October 3, 1905 Huffman Prairie, Ohio Orville Wright Wright Flyer III [36]
00:19:56 September 29, 1905 Huffman Prairie, Ohio Orville Wright Wright Flyer III [37]
00:18:11.4 September 26, 1905 Huffman Prairie, Ohio Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer III [38]
00:05:41 September 12, 1905 Huffman Prairie, Ohio Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer III [39]
00:05:04 November 9, 1904 Huffman Prairie, Ohio Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer II [40]
00:01:38 October 14, 1904 Huffman Prairie, Ohio Orville Wright Wright Flyer II [41]
00:01:35.8 September 20, 1904 Huffman Prairie, Ohio Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer II [42]
00:00:59 December 17, 1903 Kitty Hawk, North Carolina Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer [43]
00:00:12 December 17, 1903 Kitty Hawk, North Carolina Orville Wright Wright Flyer First flight [44]

Refueled, Manned[edit]

The Cessna 172, used by Robert Timm and John Cook, hanging in McCarran Airport.
The aircraft Curtiss Robin "St. Louis" during the record flight July 13–30, 1929, St. Louis, Missouri.
Duration (dd:hh:mm:ss) Date Location Pilots Aircraft Comments Reference
64:22:19:05 December 4, 1958, to February 7, 1959 McCarran Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada Robert Timm and John Cook Cessna 172, Hacienda Refueled from moving truck on ground [45]
46:20:00:00 August 24 to October 10, 1949 Yuma, Arizona Bob Woodhouse and Woody Jongeward Aeronca Sedan, City of Yuma Attempted to persuade government officials to reopen Yuma Army Air Field [46]
42:00:02:00 March 15 to April 26, 1949 Fullerton, California Dick Riedel and Bill Barris Aeronca Sedan, Sunkist Lady [47]
30:06:00:00 October 1–30, 1939 Long Beach, California Wes Carroll and Clyde Schlieper Piper Cub seaplane, Spirit of Kay [48] [49]
27:05:34:00 June 4 to July 1, 1935 Meridian, Mississippi Brothers Al and Fred Key Curtiss Robin, Ole Miss Invented a spill-free mid-air refueling nozzle [50]
23:01:41:30 June 11 and July 4, 1930 Chicago, Illinois Brothers John and Kenneth Hunter Stinson SM-1 Detroiter [51]
17:12:17:00 July 13–30, 1929 St. Louis, Missouri Dale Jackson and Forest O'Brine Curtiss Robin [52]
10:06:43:32 July 2–12, 1929 Culver City, California Loren W. Mendell and Roland B. Reinhart Buhl Airsedan, Angeleno [53][54]
07:06:00:00 June 30 to July 6, 1929 Cleveland, Ohio Roy Mitchell and Byron K. Newcomb Single engine monoplane named The City of Cleveland Not recognized as an official record by FAI because it did not exceed previous record by at least 1%. [55]
07:04:31:01 May 19–26, 1929 Ft. Worth, Texas Reginald Robbins and James Kelly Mahoney -Ryan Aircraft Ryan Monoplane B-1 Brougham named Fort Worth [56]
06:15:40:00 January 1–7, 1929 Van Nuys Airport, California Maj. Carl Spaatz, Capt. Ira Eaker, 1st Lt. Harry A. Halverson, 2nd Lt. Elwood Quesada, and Sgt. Roy W. Hooe Atlantic-Fokker C2A named Question Mark [57]
02:12:07:00 June 1–4, 1928 Tirlemont, Belgium Louis Crooy and Sgt. Victor Groenen De Havilland DH-9 [58]
01:13:15:14 August 27–28, 1923 Rockwell Field, California Capt. Lowell Smith and 1st Lt. John Paul Richter De Havilland DH-4B First refueled flight to surpass the non-refueled record [59]

Airline, Scheduled[edit]

Not an FAI category. See Non-stop flight.

Duration (hhh:mm:ss) Date Location Pilots Aircraft Comments Reference
32:09:00 1943-1945 Swan River, Nedlands, Western Australia to Lake Koggala, Sri Lanka ? Qantas Consolidated PBY Catalina Called the Double Sunrise [60]
24:56:12 August 10–11, 1938 Berlin-Staaken to Floyd Bennett Field, New York Dipl.-Ing. Alfred Henke (flight captain), captain Rudolf von Moreau (second pilot), Paul Dierberg (operator) and Walter Kober (radio operator) Deutsche Luft Hansa Focke-Wulf Fw 200 [61]
23:19:00 October 1–2, 1957 London to San Francisco ? TWA Lockheed Constellation L-1649A [citation needed]

Airplane, Unmanned[edit]

Duration (hhh:mm:ss) Date Location Pilot Aircraft Comments Reference
336:22:08 July 9–23, 2010 Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona Unmanned QinetiQ Zephyr 7 [62]
30:24:01 March 20–21, 2001 Edwards Air Force Base, California Unmanned Northrop Grumman RQ-4A Global Hawk [63]

Helicopter[edit]

Manned, Non-Refueled[edit]

" FAI category- GREAT CIRCLE DISTANCE WITHOUT LANDING

Duration (hhh:mm:ss) Date Location Pilot Aircraft Comments Reference
15:08:00 April 6, 1966 Culver City, California to Ormond Beach, Florida ((2,213.04 mi)) Robert G. Ferry Hughes YOH-6A As a nonstop-non refueled trip this flight also holds the record for the longest distance flown in a helicopter without landing. [64]

Unmanned[edit]

Duration (hhh:mm:ss) Date Location Pilot Aircraft Comments Reference
18:41:28 May 15, 2008 Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona Unmanned Boeing A160 Hummingbird [65]

Free Balloon, Manned[edit]

Duration (hhh:mm:ss) Date Location Pilot Aircraft Comments Reference
477:47:00 March 1–21, 1999 Château-d'Œx, Switzerland; circumnavigation Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones Breitling Orbiter 3 [66]
82:05:00 September 9–12, 1995 Wil, Switzerland to Lucincik, Ucraine (1.395,4 km) Johann Fuerstner and Gerald Stuerzlinger D-OSTZ Graf Zeppelin 3rd place in Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race http://www.fai.org/component/phocadownload/category/?download=4525:1995-gordon-bennett-results

Airship[edit]

Duration (hhh:mm:ss) Date Location Pilot Aircraft Comments Reference
264:12:00 March 4 to March 15, 1957 Naval Air Station South Weymouth, Mass. to Naval Air Station Key West, Fla. Cmdr. Jack. R. Hunt "Snowbird" ZPG-2 via Europe, Africa [67]
71:00:00 October 29 to November 1, 1928 Lakehurst, NJ to Friedrichshafen, Germany Hugo Eckener LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin [68]

Glider[edit]

Duration (hhh:mm:ss) Date Location Pilot Aircraft Comments Reference
56:15:00 April 2–4, 1952 Romanin les Alpilles near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France Charles Atger Arsenal Air 100 [69]

Spacecraft, Manned[edit]

Duration that a specific person continuously occupies the spacecraft while in orbit

Duration (ddd:hhh:mm:ss) Date Location Astronaut Aircraft Comments Reference
437:17:58:17 January 8, 1994, to March 22, 1995 Low Earth orbit; Baikonur Cosmodrome to near Arkalyk, Kazakhstan Valeri Polyakov Russian space station Mir [70]

Aerospacecraft, Orbital, Manned[edit]

Duration (ddd:hhh:mm:ss) Date Location Astronaut Aircraft Comments Reference
17:15:53:17 November 19 to December 7, 1996 Low Earth orbit, Kennedy Space Center Kenneth D. Cockrell, Kent V. Rominger, Tamara E. Jernigan, Thomas D. Jones, and F. Story Musgrave Space Shuttle Columbia, STS-80 [71]

References[edit]

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