10 impressive and interesting aviation records.
One of the great things about aviation is the ability to inspire. We gathered ten world aviation records that we found most impressive, given the effort, work and ingenuity that led to their achievement.
10 world aviation records.
Not all are current and not all are officially recognized. However, the two criteria are pale in light of the impression of these achievements.
The Daedalus Project: The longest man-powered flight
In 1988, Greek cyclist Kanellos Kanellopoulos flew more than 115 kilometers in a non-powered plane. It was part of the Deadalus project of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which led to the construction of an impressive high-tech aircraft, with a wingspan of 34 meters and a weight of only 31 kilograms, all driven by the leg muscles. to Kanellopoulos. The aircraft remained in the air for almost three hours, performing a feat that many would think impossible, and the record has not been broken since.
Caproni Ca.161: highest flight altitude of a piston airplane
In 1938, Italian pilot Mario Pezzi took the specially built Caproni Ca.161 aircraft to an altitude of 17.083 meters (56.047 ft). It was an absolute record at the time, made in the open cockpit biplane similar to those flying in World War I. It took the world a decade, a rocket-propelled plane and a daring pilot to break that record, since it was only shot down in 1948 by Chuck Yeager in the Bell X-1.
As for the piston planes, Pezzi's record has not yet been broken.
Airbus Zephyr 7: The longest UAV flight
Airbus Zephyr 7 is an unmanned aerial vehicle powered by solar energy (UAV) and holds the world record for the longest flight without refueling, remaining in the air for 26 consecutive days. This was just the beginning, because, theoretically, similar aircraft - high altitude drones (HALE) - can operate much longer. Probably in the future, this record will be broken many times.
Although not so impressive in itself, this record demonstrates the potential of unmanned aviation and solar energy.
Robina Asti: The oldest flight instructor
In 2020, Robina Asti became the oldest flight instructor in the world, as she taught a flight lesson at the age of 99. Although there are active pilots even a little older than her (one year, to be exact), there is a big difference between flying planes and teaching others to do so. Robina was a World War II veteran and activist. He died on March 12, 2021 from natural causes.
Boeing 747-400 El Al: Most passengers carried in a single flight
In 1991, a specially configured Boeing 747-400 El Al aircraft carried more than a thousand passengers between Ethiopia and Israel. For many of those passengers, the flight was not very pleasant, because even the economy class in the cabin of the most austere airline would seem spacious in comparison. The flight was operated to evacuate people fleeing civil war zones. Despite these grim circumstances, the realization remains: that 747 carried almost twice as many people as an Airbus A380, which is the largest passenger aircraft in the world, normally carries.
The exact number is not easy to identify, but Guinness World Records puts the number at 1088, but other sources claim that up to 1122 people could have been on the plane, including two babies who were born during the flight.
Antonov An-225 Mriya: The heaviest payload transported
It is said that the aircraft Antonov An-225 Mriya it broke over a hundred world records, but the most important record is that it managed to carry the heaviest payload. In 2001, the aircraft took off with four fight tanks in the hold, weighing 253.820 kg (559.580 lb) - that is, the weight of five Airbus A320 aircraft or an empty Boeing 747.
Vesna Vulović: The biggest fall without a parachute
The story of stewardess Vesna Vulović is well known. It is also the darkest world aviation record on this list.
In 1972, after a bomb exploded on Yugoslav Airlines Flight 367, Vesna fell from an altitude of 10.160 meters (33.330 ft). She became the sole survivor of the flight, despite being seriously injured. The Guinness Book has recognized this as the biggest fall without a parachute, and except for the tragic circumstances, the story is truly impressive.
The highest speed ever recorded by an airplane
Theoretically, the Lockheed A-12 could fly faster than the SR-71. The North American X-15 may be the fastest plane in the world. However, the SR-71 record of 3.529,6 kilometers per hour (2.193,2 mph) is still representative. SR-71 was a mass-produced aircraft, for which sustained supersonic flight was the main mode of operation. While hypersonic drones will most likely become commonplace in the future, they will never hit the Blackbird, a Mach 3 aircraft.
Hughes H-4 Hercules: The largest aircraft
The wingspan of the legendary Hughes H-4 Hercules is almost 83 meters, the wings being made of laminated wood. This record has stood for more than seven decades, and will be broken by Scaled Composites Stratolaunch, which has shown incredible engineering ingenuity. It could be said that in those seven decades, there was no special reason to build larger aircraft.
Robert Timm and John Cook: The longest flight in history
In 1958, Robert Timm and John Cook took off in a Cessna 172 aircraft, called the Hacienda, from a Nevada airport… and did not land for three months. It is the longest flight of any flying object in human history to date. It was made with the help of a high-speed truck that provided fuel and supplies. The two pilots spent 64 days, 22 hours and 19 minutes in flight, and while the motivation behind such an act was just an advertising cascade, the record is still standing today.