- May 18th 2012
Sunday marks 75 years since Amelia Earhart crossed the Atlantic by plane. She’s a woman who continues to set imagination alight because of her great achievements in flight. To mark the upcoming anniversary, we’ve collected some interesting flight and aviation achievements, courtesy of Guinness World Records.
- Let’s start with Amelia Earhart’s own achievement. She was the first woman to make a solo transatlantic flight in 1932. The flight, from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland, took 13 and a half hours.
- The world’s oldest aviation race is the Gordon Bennett cup, a gas balloon race that first took place in September 1906. In 2005 Bob Berben and Benoît Siméons steered their balloon from Albuquerque to Canada, a distance of 2,100 miles.
- The first woman to break the sound barrier was American Jacqueline Cochran who piloted an F-86 Sabre past Mach 1 in May 1953. She went on to set several speed records into her 60s.
- The world’s first commercial electric plane is the Yuneec e430, a two-seater which can fly for up to 3 hours. It costs $89,000.
- In February 2008, an an Airbus A-380 became the first commercial aircraft to complete a flight using natural gas fuel. The flight, from Bristol in the UK to Toulouse in France, lasted three hours.
- In March 1999, Swiss Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones of the UK finished the world’s first non-stop round the world balloon flight. It was also the longest ever balloon flight, covering 25,360 miles and lasting 477 hours and 47 minutes.
- Russia’s Sergei Krikalev has spent more time in space than anyone else, racking up a total of 803 days, 9 hours and 39 minutes.
- Jamaican-American Barrington Irving is the youngest person to have circumnavigated the globe. He completed a 97 day flight between March and June 1007 in the Inspiration.
- Frederick W Finn of the UK, has made the most supersonic passenger journeys, crossing the Atlantic 718 times between 1976 and 2003.
- The fastest speed recorded for a non-space aircraft is 4,520 miles per hour (Mach 6.7). The record was set by Major William J Knight of the USAF in an experimental aircraft in October 1967.
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Image: Joanna Poe/Flickr