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The longest flight distance

The flight distance record for a manned airplane is 41,467 km (25,766 miles), accomplished by Steve Fossett, who made that record withthe GlobalFlyer airplane: February 8, 2006-February 11, 2006.

Steve Fossett Steve Fossett planned a circumnavigation in the GlobalFlyer, taking off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, flying eastbound around the world then crossing the Atlantic a second time and then landing at Kent International Airport in Kent, England.

The objective was to break the absolute distance without landing record for airplanes and to exceed the longest distance by any kind of aircraft which was achieved by the Round the World Balloon flight of Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones in 1999.

On Wednesday, February 8, 2006, at 12:22 (UTC), GlobalFlyer took off and flew eastbound from Kennedy Space Center, and landed after a flight duration of 76 hours 45 minutes with an official distance of 25,766 miles (41,467 km).

globalflyer This distance set a new record for the longest ever aircraft flight in history, breaking the old records of 24,987 miles (40,212 km) in an airplane and 25,360 miles (40,814 km) in a balloon. The landing was made at Bournemouth Airport, England, Fossett having declared an emergency and diverting because of a generator failure at 40,000 feet. Generator failure meant that he had about 25 minutes until his batteries were exhausted, when he would have lost all electrical power. To add to the drama, there was ice on the inside of the canopy obstructing Fossett's view, making his landing virtually blind; one tire was flat from the takeoff roll and the remaining main tire burst on touchdown due to frozen brakes; and the fuel remaining was indicated to be only 200 lbs.

Aside from that there was some relatively minor damage such as a broken aileron hinge and a jammed intake valve, but otherwise the aircraft survived intact.