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The current record for the longest non-stop, non-refueled airplane flight in history (9 days and 3 minutes) was achieved in the Rutan Voyager

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 crewed airplane or glider flights and has never recognized any duration records for helicopters.

Airplane

Non-refueled, crewed

Duration ( dd: hh: mm: ss) Date Location Pilots Aircraft Comments Reference
09:00:03:44 December 14–23, 1986 Edwards Air Force Base, US, circumnavigation Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager Rutan Voyager [1]
04:21:51:00 June 28 to July 3, 2015 Nagoya, JapanKalaeloa Airport, Hawaii, United States (8263 kilometres) André Borschberg Solar Impulse 2 Solar plane, without any fuel; also longest solo airplane flight of any type [2] [3]
03:12:32:00 May 25–28, 1931 Jacksonville, Florida, US Walter Edwin Lees and Frederic Brossy Bellanca J-2 Last record recognized by FAI [4]
03:04:45:00 February 8–11, 2004 Kennedy Space Center, Florida, US Steve Fosset Global Flyer [5] [6]
03:03:23:07 February 26 to March 1, 1931 La Sénia, Algeria Lucien Bossoutrot and Maurice Rossi Blériot 110 [7]
02:19:13:55 May 30 to June 2, 1930 Montecelio, Italy Umberto Maddalena and Fausto Cecconi Savoia-Marchetti S.64 [8]
02:17:25:00 July 5–7, 1928 Dessau, Germany Johann Risztics and Wilhelm Zimmermann Junkers W 33 Also surpassed the refueled record [9]
02:04:22:31.8 August 3–5, 1927 Dessau, Germany Cornelius Edzard and Johann Risztics Junkers W 33 [10]
02:03:11:25 April 12–14, 1927 Long Island, New York, US Clarence Duncan Chamberlin and Bertrand Blanchard Acosta Wright-Bellanca WB-2 "Columbia" [11]
01:21:11:59 August 7–9, 1925 Chartres, France Maurice Drouhin and Jules Landry Farman F.60 Goliath [12]
01:13:59:10 July 16–17, 1924 Chartres, France Etienne Coupet and Maurice Drouhin Farman F-60 Also surpassed the refueled record [13]
01:12:04:34 April 16–17, 1923 Wilbur Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, US Oakley George Kelly and John Arthur Macready Fokker T-2 [14]
01:10:14:07 October 14–15, 1922 Le Bourget, France Lucien Bossoutrot and Robert Drouhin Farman F.60 Goliath [15]
01:02:19:35 December 29–30, 1921 Roosevelt Field, New York, US; [16] FAI record says Jacksonville, Florida Edward A. Stinson and Lloyd Bertaud Junkers-Larsen JL-6 First record recognized by FAI [17]
01:00:19:07 June 3–4, 1920 Ville Sauvage la Dordogne, France Lucien Bossoutrot and Jean Bernard Farman F.60 Goliath [18]
01:00:12:00 July 10–11, 1914 Johannisthal Air Field near Berlin, Germany Reinhold Böhm Albatros biplane [19] [20]
00:21:49:00 June 28–29, 1914 Johannisthal Air Field near Berlin, Germany Werner Landmann Albatros biplane [21]
00:13:22:00 September 11, 1912 Étampes airfield in France Alexandre Fourny (Fourney) Maurice Farman MF-2 [22] [23]
00:11:01:29 September 1, 1911 Buc, France Alexandre Fourny (Fourney) Maurice Farman biplane [24] [25]
00:08:12:45 December 18, 1910 Étampes airfield in France Henri Farman Maurice Farman biplane [26]
00:06:01:00 October 28, 1910 Buc, France Maurice Tabuteau Maurice Farman MF-2 [27]
00:05:03:05 July 10, 1910 Reims, France Jan Olieslagers Blériot monoplane [27] [28]
00:04:17:35 November 3, 1909 Mourmelon-le-Grand, France Henri Farman H. Farman [29]
00:02:18:33.6 December 31, 1908 Camp d’Auvours near Le Mans, France Wilbur Wright Wright Model A [30]
00:01:54:00.4 December 18, 1908 Camp d’Auvours near Le Mans, France Wilbur Wright Wright Model A [30]
00:01:31:25.8 September 21, 1908 Camp d’Auvours near Le Mans, France Wilbur Wright Wright Model A [30]
00:01:14:20 September 12, 1908 Fort Myer, Virginia, US Orville Wright Wright Model A [31]
00:01:10:24 September 11, 1908 Fort Myer, Virginia, US Orville Wright Wright Model A [31]
00:01:05:52 September 10, 1908 Fort Myer, Virginia Orville Wright Wright Model A [31]
00:01:02:15 September 9, 1908 Fort Myer, Virginia, US Orville Wright Wright Model A [31]
00:00:59:23.8 October 5, 1905 Huffman Prairie, Ohio, US Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer III [32]
00:00:33:17 October 4, 1905 Huffman Prairie, Ohio, US Orville Wright Wright Flyer III [32]
00:00:26:11.2 October 3, 1905 Huffman Prairie, Ohio, US Orville Wright Wright Flyer III [32]
00:00:19:56 September 29, 1905 Huffman Prairie, Ohio, US Orville Wright Wright Flyer III [32]
00:00:18:11 September 26, 1905 Huffman Prairie, Ohio, US Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer III [32]
00:00:05:41 September 12, 1905 Huffman Prairie, Ohio, YS Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer III [32]
00:00:05:04 November 9, 1904 Huffman Prairie, Ohio, US Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer II [33]
00:00:01:38 October 14, 1904 Huffman Prairie, Ohio, US Orville Wright Wright Flyer II [33]
00:00:01:35 September 20, 1904 Huffman Prairie, Ohio, US Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer II [33]
00:00:00:59 December 17, 1903 Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, US Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer [34]
00:00:00:12 December 17, 1903 Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, US Orville Wright Wright Flyer First flight [34]

Refueled, crewed

The Cessna 172, used by Robert Timm and John Cook, hanging in Harry Reid International Airport.
Robert Timm and John Cook Cessna 172 refueling
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 Las Vegas, Nevada Robert Timm and John Cook Cessna 172
Hacienda
Refueled from moving truck on ground [35]
50:00:18:20 August 2, 1958, to September 21, 1958 Dallas, Texas, US Jim Heth and Bill Burkhart Cessna 172
The Old Scotchman
Refueled from moving truck on ground [35] [36]
46:20:00:00 August 24 to October 10, 1949 Yuma, Arizona, US Bob Woodhouse and Woody Jongeward Aeronca 15AC Sedan
City of Yuma
Attempted to persuade government officials to reopen Yuma Army Air Field [37]
42:00:02:00 March 15 to April 26, 1949 Fullerton, California, US Dick Riedel and Bill Barris Aeronca 15AC Sedan
Sunkist Lady
[38]
30:06:00:00 October 1–30, 1939 Long Beach, California, US Wes Carroll and Clyde Schlieper Piper J-3 Cub floatplane
Spirit of Kay
[39] [40]
27:05:34:00 June 4 to July 1, 1935 Meridian, Mississippi, US Brothers Al and Fred Key Curtiss Robin
Ole Miss
Invented a spill-free mid-air refueling nozzle. Inaccessible recording altimeter verified duration. [41]
23:01:41:30 June 11 and July 4, 1930 Chicago, Illinois, US Brothers John and Kenneth Hunter Stinson SM-1 Detroiter
The City of Chicago
[42]
17:12:17:00 July 13–30, 1929 St. Louis, Missouri, US Dale Jackson and Forest O'Brine Curtiss Robin
St. Louis
[43]
10:06:43:32 July 2–12, 1929 Culver City, California, US Loren W. Mendell and Roland B. Reinhart Buhl CA-5A Airsedan
Angeleno
[44] [45]
07:06:00:00 June 30 to July 6, 1929 Cleveland, Ohio, US Roy Mitchell and Byron K. Newcomb Stinson SM-1 Detroiter
The City of Cleveland
Not recognized as an official record by FAI because it did not exceed previous record by at least 1%. [46]
07:04:31:01 May 19–26, 1929 Ft. Worth, Texas, US Reginald Robbins and James Kelly Mahoney-Ryan B-1 Brougham
Fort Worth
[47]
06:15:40:00 January 1–7, 1929 Van Nuys Airport, California, US Maj. Carl Spaatz, Capt. Ira Eaker, 1st Lt. Harry A. Halverson, 2nd Lt. Elwood Quesada, and Sgt. Roy W. Hooe Atlantic-Fokker C2A
Question Mark
[48]
02:12:07:00 June 1–4, 1928 Tirlemont, Belgium Louis Crooy and Sgt. Victor Groenen de Havilland DH-9 [49]
01:13:15:14 August 27–28, 1923 Rockwell Field, California, US Capt. Lowell Smith and 1st Lt. John Paul Richter de Havilland DH-4B First refueled flight to surpass the non-refueled record [50]

Airline, scheduled

Not an FAI category. See Longest Flights

Duration ( hh: mm: ss) Date Location Pilots Aircraft Comments Reference
32:09:00 June 29, 1943 – July 18, 1945 [note 1] Swan River, Nedlands, Western Australia to Lake Koggala, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) several Qantas crews Qantas Consolidated PBY Catalina Called " The Double Sunrise" (c.3500 mi.)

271 crossings

[52] [51] [53]
23:19:00 October 1–2, 1957 London to San Francisco 44 persons (12 crew, 32 passengers). Capt. Gordon Granger and co-pilot Herbert Ottewill [54] TWA Lockheed Constellation L-1649A, F/N 307 / N7307C (c.5350 mi.) [55]
19:36:00 October 21–22, 1936 San Francisco to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Capt. Edwin Musick, FO Harold Gray, JO M.C. Weber, NAV Fred Noonan + 4 additional flightcrew. [56] Pan Am Martin M-130 Flying Boat (c. 2405 mi.) [57] [58] [59]

Airplane, uncrewed

FAI does not differentiate between non-refueled and solar aircraft. Class U : Experimental

Duration
( dd: hh: mm: ss)
Date Location Aircraft Class
64:18:26:00 2022-08-19 US, Arizona, Yuma Airbus Zephyr 8 (S) non FAI sanctioned, solar power [60]
25:23:57:00 2018-08-05 US, Arizona, Yuma Airbus Zephyr 8 non FAI sanctioned, 75 kg, solar power [61]
18:22:30:00 2021-09-13 US, Arizona, Yuma Airbus Zephyr 8 U-Absolute, [62] U-1 (Fixed wing), 25–100 kg, electric [63]
14:00:22:00 2010-07-23 US, Arizona, Yuma QinetiQ Zephyr 7 U-Absolute, [64] U-1.c (50–500 kg), electric [65]
08:00:50:00 2021-10-02 US, California, Edwards Vanilla Unmanned U-1 (Fixed wing), 100–500 kg, IC and Jet [66]
05:01:24:00 2017-10-23 US, Virginia Wallops Vanilla Aircraft VA001 non FAI sanctioned [67]
03:16:18:00 2023-07-09 US, Eastern Oregon Regional Airport Kraus Hamdani Aerospace K1000ULE non FAI sanctioned, Group-2 UAS, solar power [68]
03:10:02:00 2014-12-08 US, California, Ridgecrest Aurora FS Orion U-1.f (5-10 t), IC and Jet [69]
03:09:24:00 2014-12-08 Switzerland, Rafz ETH Zurich AtlantikSolar non FAI sanctioned, 6.8 kg, solar power [70]
02:12:00:00 2019-12-11 US, Utah, Dugway US AFRL Ultra LEAP non FAI sanctioned [71]
02:12:00:00 1988 US Boeing Condor non FAI sanctioned, 9.2 t, piston engines [72]
02:07:56:00 2016-12-02 US, New Mexico, Las Cruces Vanilla Aircraft VA001 U-1.c (50–500 kg), IC and Jet [73]
02:06:27:00 2012-07-07 Latvia, Jelgava UAV Factory Penguin B non FAI sanctioned, 22.3 kg TOW, two-stroke [74]
02:00:01:00 2013-04-18 unknown US NRL Ion Tiger UAV non FAI sanctioned, hydrogen fuel cell [75]
01:15:24:00 2001-03-21 US, California, Edwards Northrop Grumman RQ-4 U-Absolute, [76] U-2.g (10-20 t), IC and Jet [77]
01:06:17:00 2022-02-19 unknown Lockheed Martin Stalker submitted to FAI, 5–25 kg, [78] Propane Fuel Cell
01:02:01:00 2009-11-17 US, MD, Aberdeen US NRL Ion Tiger UAV non FAI sanctioned, 17 kg, hydrogen fuel cell [79] [80]

Helicopter

Crewed, non-refueled

Duration ( hhh: mm: ss) Date Location Pilot Aircraft Comments Reference
15:08:00 April 6, 1966 Culver City, California, US 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. FAI category: "Great circle distance, without landing". [81]

Uncrewed

Duration ( hhh: mm: ss) Date Location Pilot Aircraft Comments Reference
32:08:00 October 2017 unknown Uncrewed Aerovel Flexrotor [82] [83]
22:29:38 Aug 9–10, 2016 unknown Uncrewed Latitude HQ-60 [84]
18:41:28 May 15, 2008 Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, US Uncrewed Boeing A160 Hummingbird [85]

Free balloon, crewed

Duration ( dd: hh: mm: ss) Date Location Pilot Aircraft Comments Reference
19:21:47:00 March 1–21, 1999 Château-d'Œx, Switzerland; circumnavigation Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones Breitling Orbiter 3 [86]
14:19:50:00 June 19 – July 3, 2002 Northam, WA (Australia) circumnavigation Steve Fossett Cameron Balloons R-550 (N277SF) Longest solo flight in any type of aircraft [87]
11:04:20:00 July 12–23, 2016 Northam, WA Australia; circumnavigation Fedor Konyukhov Cameron Balloons R-550 Shortest time around the world [88]
03:10:05:00 September 9–12, 1995 Wil, Switzerland to Lucincik, Ukraine (1.395,4 km) Johann Fuerstner and Gerald Stuerzlinger D-OSTZ Graf Zeppelin 3rd place in Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race [89]

Airship

Duration ( dd: hh: mm: ss) Date Location Pilot Aircraft Comments Reference
11:00:12:00 March 4 to March 15, 1957 Naval Air Station South Weymouth, Massachusetts, US to Naval Air Station Key West, Florida, US Cmdr. Jack. R. Hunt "Snowbird" ZPG-2 via Europe, Africa [90]
03:23:05:00 November 21 to November 25, 1917 Jambol, Bulgaria to Jambol, Bulgaria LtCdr. Ludwig Bockholt L95 (LZ104) Type W Zeppelin originally destined for the Makonde Plateau, mission aborted at 16° 30′ N, 30° 0′ E, near Khartoum, Sudan after areas fit for landing were captured by British forces [91]
02:23:00:00 October 29 to November 1, 1928 Lakehurst, New Jersey, US to Friedrichshafen, Germany Hugo Eckener LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin [92]

Glider

Duration ( dd: hh: mm: ss) Date Location Pilot Aircraft Comments Reference
02:23:05:00 July 28–30, 1961 Honolulu, Hawaii, US Geza Vass and Guy Davis Pratt Read (TG-32, LNE-1) [93]
02:08:15:00 April 2–4, 1952 Romanin les Alpilles near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France Charles Atger Arsenal Air 100 [94]

Space station, crewed

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

See Also Timeline of longest spaceflights, List of spaceflight records

Duration ( ddd: hh: 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 [95]

Aerospacecraft, orbital, crewed

Duration ( ddd: hh: 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 [96]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Note The "Double Sunrise" route continued to be operated from July 18, 1945 until April 6, 1946 by Qantas Liberators (loaned from BOAC) and Qantas Avro Lancastrians, but with shorter flown distances (departing what is now PER, stopping for refuelling at the RAF base at Minneriya, and landing at what is now CMB) and shorter flight times (faster cruise speeds). [51]

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