Action Aviation chairman Hamish Harding, astronaut Terry Virts and Qatar Executive have made history after breaking the World Circumnavigation Speed Record in a flight, made in a Qatar Executive Gulfstream G650ER aircraft.
The fastest ultra-long-range business jet in the world, the Gulfstream G650ER is capable of reaching Mach 0.925. Powered by two Rolls-Royce BR725 A1-12 turbofan engines delivering 16,900 lbs of thrust, the extended range variant is capable of flying 13, 890km at up to 51,000ft .
The multinational attempt to break the world record for the fastest circumnavigation of the earth via both poles was named One More Orbit, named in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, .
“One More Orbit pays homage to the Apollo 11 moon landing achievement, by highlighting how humans push the boundaries of aeronautics,” said Harding. “We did this during the 50th anniversary celebrations and the 500th anniversary of man first circling the planet, which Magellan did by sailing ship. It is our way of paying tribute to the past, the present, and the future of space exploration.”
Breaking both the FAI and Guinness World Record simultaneously during its mission, the record-breaking flight began from the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida on Tuesday July 9th at 9.32am and landed on Thursday July 11th at 8.12am, taking 46 hours and 40 minutes, at an average speed of 535mph (861km/h).
The flight beat the previous record set in 2008 by 5 hours and 52 minutes.
“The new record, which I am presenting to the FAI, for the fastest aerial circumnavigation of the Earth via both geographical poles is now 46 hours 40 mins, achieved by Captain Hamish Harding (UK) and Qatar Executive (Qatar) on 11 July 2019,” said Kris Maynard, official representative of the FAI and the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom.
“A dream, a team, a machine, a new world record,” said Virts at the celebratory reception that followed the landing. “We could not have done this without the great support of Qatar Executive, Space Florida, Untitled and NASA.”