Record flights Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Flights that surpass previous performance achievements.

The desire to “push the envelope” of aircraft performance has provided the impetus to improve aircraft technology since the eighteenth century, from hot-air balloons to solar-powered aircraft. Record keepers usually compare the performances of aircraft of comparable weight and engine type.

Turboprop Landplanes with Takeoff Weights of 3,000 to 6,000 Kilograms

On September 1, 1988, Einar Envoldson flew a Burkhart Grob Egrett-1 to a record altitude of 16,329 meters without a payload. Propulsion consisted of one Garrett TPE-33 1-14A 750-shaft horsepower engine. During that same flight, over a course in Greenville, Texas, Envoldson also set a record in altitude in horizontal flight without a payload of 16,238 meters.

On March 31, 1994, Werner Kraut of Germany set a record in altitude with a 1,000-kilogram payload of 15,552 meters. He flew a Burkhart Grob G-520 Egrett over Mindelheim, Germany.

On December 13, 1985, Sergei Gorbik of the Soviet Union set a record altitude of 6,150 meters with a 2,000-kilogram payload. He flew an Antonov An-3 powered by one 1,450-horsepower IX-TBD2O engine. On that same flight, Gorbik set another record for the greatest mass carried to a height of 2,000 meters: 2,375 kilograms. He flew over Podkievscoe Airfield, Soviet Union.

On April 16, 1985, Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager of the United States and Renald Davenport set a record in time to climb to a height of 3,000 meters: 1 minute, 48 seconds. They flew a Piper PA-42-1000 Cheyenne 400LS aircraft powered by two 1,000-shaft horsepower Garrett TPE-3 31-14 engines over Portland, Oregon. On that same flight, the pilots set a record of time to climb to a height of 6,000 meters of 3 minutes, 43 seconds, and to 9,000 meters of 6 minutes, 34 seconds. They also set a record of time to climb to a height of 12,000 meters of 11 minutes, 8 seconds.

On May 22, 1982, Joachim H. Blumschein of Germany set a speed record over a closed circuit of 100 kilometers without a payload of 571.43 kilometers per hour. He flew a Gulfstream Commander 695/980 powered by two 717.5-shaft horsepower Garrett TPE-33 1-10-501 engines over Leine, Germany. During the same flight, he set a record for speed over a closed circuit of 500 kilometers without a payload of 571.43 kilometers per hour. He also set records for speed over a closed circuit of 1,000 and 2,000 kilometers without payload of 572.08 kilometers per hour and 569.85 kilometers per hour, respectively.

On March 21, 1983, Joe Harnisch of the United States and David B. Webster set a speed record for eastbound flight around the world of 490.51 kilometers per hour. They flew a Gulfstream Commander 695A powered by two 820-horsepower Garrett TPE 33 1-501K engines. Their course began in Elkhart, Indiana, and extended across Goose Bay, Canada; Keflavik, Iceland; Vienna, Austria; Cairo, Egypt; Luxor, Egypt; Sharjah, Iran; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Singapore; Manila, Philippines; Agana, Guam; Wake Island; Midway Island; Honolulu, Hawaii; and San Francisco, California.

Turboprop Landplanes with Takeoff Weights of 6,000 to 9,000 Kilograms

On June 16, 1966, James F. Peters of the United States set a record in altitude in horizontal flight without a payload of 9,753 meters when he flew a Grumman OV-1C Mohawk over Calverton, Long Island, New York. The aircraft was powered by two 1,160-ESHP Lycoming T-53-L-7 engines.

On December 12, 1985, Vladimir Lysenko of the Soviet Union set an altitude record with a 1,000-kilogram payload of 6,100 meters. During the same flight, he set another record by reaching the same altitude with a 2,000-kilogram payload. He flew an Antonov An-3 powered by one 1,450-horsepower TBD-20 engine over Podkievscoe Airfield in the Soviet Union.

Turboprop Landplanes with Takeoff Weights of 9,000 to 12,000 Kilograms

On August 30, 1993, William G. Walker and Wyatt C. Ingram of the United States set a record of altitude reached without a payload: 10,892 meters. They flew a Marsh S-F3T Turbotracker powered by two 1,645-shaft horsepower Garrett TPE 331 engines over a course in Santa Rosa, California. During that same flight, they set a record for time to climb to a height of 3,000 meters of 3 minutes, 40 seconds, and speed over a closed circuit of 100 kilometers without payload of 454.53 kilometers per hour.

Turboprop Landplanes with Takeoff Weights of 12,000 to 16,000 kilograms

On May 7, 1982, Marina Popovitch and Galina Kortchuganova, both of the Soviet Union, set a record of altitude without payload of 11,050 meters. They flew an Antonov An-24 powered by two 2,820-horsepower AN24 engines over Podkievscoe Airfield in the Soviet Union.

On May 11, 1982, the same two pilots set a record of altitude in horizontal flight without payload of 10,920 meters in an Antonov An-24 powered by two 2,820-horsepower engines, again over Podkievscoe Airfield.

On February 16, 1976, Canadians Thomas E. Appleton, W. E. Pullen, and Harry Hubard set a record for time to climb to a height of 3,000 meters of 2 minutes, 13 seconds. They flew a De Havilland Canada DHC-5D Buffalo powered by two 3/33-ESHP engines over Downsview, Canada. During the same flight, these crew members also set a record for time to climb to a height of 6,000 meters of 4 minutes, 27.5 seconds, and time to climb to a height of 9,000 meters of 8 minutes, 3.5 seconds.

Turboprop Landplanes with Takeoff Weights of 16,000 to 20,000 Kilograms

On December 17, 1991, Matt Klunder and Pete Tomczak of the United States set a record for speed over a closed 100-kilometer circuit without a payload of 600 kilometers per hour. They flew a Grumman E2-C Hawkeye powered by two 5,250-horsepower Allison T56-A-427 engines. During the same flight, the crew set a record for speed over a closed 100-kilometer circuit with 1,000-kilogram payload of 600 kilometers per hour and one of speed over a closed 100-kilometer circuit with 2,000-kilogram payload of 600 kilometers per hour.

On December 19, 1991, Matt Klunder and Steven Schmeiser of the United States set a record for altitude in horizontal flight without payload of 12,150 meters. They flew a Grumman E2-C Hawkeye powered by two 5,250-horsepower Allison T56-A-427 engines. They flew over Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland. During the same flight, they set a record for altitude with a 1,000-kilogram payload of 12,518 meters.

On May 19, 1993, Gideon Singer and Kjell Nordstrom of Sweden set a record for time to climb to a height of 3,000 meters of 2 minutes, 26 seconds. They flew a Saab 2000 powered by two 2,100-horsepower Allison T2100 engines. During the same flight, they set a record for time to climb to a height of 6,000 meters of 4 minutes, 45 seconds, and to 9,000 meters of 8 minutes, 1 second.

Turboprop Landplanes with Takeoff Weights of 20,000 to 25,000 Kilograms

On December 18, 1991, Eric Hinger and Steven Schmeiser of the United States set a record for altitude with a 2,000-kilogram payload of 12,178 meters in a Grumman E2-C Hawkeye powered by two 5,250-horsepower Allison T56-A-427 engines, over Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.

On November 5, 1985, Petr Kirichuk and Alexandre Tkachenko of the Soviet Union set a record of altitude with a 5,000-kilogram payload of 11, 230 meters in an Antonov An-32 powered by two 5,180-ESHP Am-20 engines. They flew over Podkievscoe Airfield, Soviet Union.

On July 7, 1982, Marina Popovitch and Galina Kortchuganova of the Soviet Union set a record for greatest payload carried to a height of 2,000 meters of 8,096 kilograms. They flew an Antonov An-24 powered by two 2,820-horsepower engines over Podmoskovnoe Aerodrome in the Soviet Union.

Turboprop Landplanes with Takeoff Weights of 25,000 to 35,000 Kilograms

On October 28, 1985, Alexandre Tkachenko and Vladimir Lysenko of the Soviet Union set a record for altitude with 1,000-kilogram payload of 11,120 meters in an Antonov An-32 powered by two 5,180-EHPS engines. They flew over Podkievscoe Airfield in the Soviet Union. During the same flight, they set a record altitude of 10,890 meters with a 2,000-kilogram payload.

On November 4, 1985, Petr Kirichuk and Alexandre Tkachenko of the Soviet Union set a record for altitude with a 5,000-kilogram payload of 10,510 meters in an Antononov An-32 powered by two 5,180-EHPS engines. They flew over Podkievscoe Airfield in the Soviet Union. During the same flight, they set a record for the greatest mass carried to a height of 2,000 meters of 7,256 kilograms.

Turboprop Landplanes with Takeoff Weights of 45,000 to 60,000 Kilograms

On April 20, 1999, Arlen D. Rens, Lyle H. Schaffer, and Timothy L. Gomez of the United States set a record for speed over a closed 1,000-kilometer circuit without a payload of 637.58 kilometers per hour. They flew a Lockheed Martin C-130J powered by four 4,700-horsepower AE engines over Dobbins Air Force Base, Georgia.

On March 22, 1991, Evgenii Bistrov and Alexei Marenkov of the Soviet Union set five records for speed over a closed 1,000-kilometer circuit of 587.53 kilometers per hour for an aircraft without a payload, with a 1,000-kilogram payload, with a 2,000-kilogram payload, with a 5,000-kilogram payload, and with a 10,000-kilogram payload. They flew an Antonov AN-12 powered by four 4,250-horsepower AI engines over Jasmine Aerodrome, Akhtubinsk, Soviet Union.

Turboprop Landplanes with Takeoff Weights of 100,000 to 150,000 Kilograms

On October 5, 1989, Igor Malychev and M. M. Bachkirov of the Soviet Union set four altitude records. The first was of 12,265 meters without a payload. The second, third, and fourth also reached 12,265 meters with payloads of 1,000, 2,000, and 5,000 kilograms. They flew a VP-021 (TU-95) powered by four 15,000-EHP Kuznetov engines over the Jasmine Aerodrome, Akhtubinsk, Soviet Union.

On September 26, 1989, V. E. Mossolov and I. A. Tchalov of the Soviet Union set multiple speed records over a closed 1,000-kilometer circuit of 807.37 kilometers per hour without a payload and with 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, 25,000, and 30,000-kilogram payloads. They flew a VP-021 (TU-95) powered by four 15,000-horsepower HK engines.

Turbojet Landplanes

On May 17, 1975, Piotr Ostapenko of the Soviet Union set a record for time to climb to a height of 30,000 meters of 3 minutes, 10 seconds. He flew an E-266M powered by two 14,000-kilogram RD engines over the Podmoskovnoe Aerodrome in the Soviet Union.

On March 23, 1988, Nikolai Sadovnikov of the Soviet Union set a record for time to climb to a height of 15,000 meters of 1 minute, 10 seconds. He flew a P-42 powered by two 13,600-kilogram P-32 engines over the Podmoskovnoe Aerodrome in the Soviet Union.

On May 7, 1987, Vladimir Tersky and Yuri Resnitsky of the Soviet Union set a record for distance over a closed circuit without landing of 20,150.92 kilometers. They flew an Antononov An-124 powered by four 23,4000-kilogram D-1 8T engines.

On August 31, 1977, Alexandr Fedotov of the Soviet Union set a record for altitude without a payload of 37,650 meters. He flew an E-266M powered by two 14,000-kilogram RDF engines over the Podmoskovnoe Aerodrome in the Soviet Union.

On July 25, 1973, Fedotov set one record of altitude with a 1,000-kilogram payload of 35,230 meters and one for altitude with a 2,000-kilogram payload of 35,230 meters. During this flight, he flew an E-266 powered by two 11,000-kilogram PD engines.

On July 20, 1983, Sergei Agapov and Boris Veremei of the Soviet Union set altitude records of 18,200 meters with 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, 25,000, and 30,000-kilogram payloads. They flew a 101 aircraft, known in the military as the Tu-144, powered by four 20,000-kilogram Model 57 engines over Podmoskovnoe Aerodrome in the Soviet Union.

On October 29, 1959, Boris Stepanov and Boris Lumachev, both of the Soviet Union, set altitude records of 13,121 meters with 35,000, 40,000, 45,000, 50,000, and 55,000-kilogram payloads. They flew a 102M powered by four 13,000-kilogram D.15 engines over Podmoskovnoe Aerodrome in the Soviet Union.

On July 26, 1985, Vladimir Tersky and Alexandre Galounenko of the Soviet Union set altitude records of 10,750 meters with 160,000, 165,000, and 170,000-kilogram payloads. They flew an Antonov AN-124 powered by four 23,4000-kilogram Lotarev D-18T engines over the Podmoskovnoe Aerodrome in the Soviet Union.

On June 27, 1988, James C. Loesch and Howard B. Greene of the United States set a record for the greatest mass carried to a height of 2,000 meters of 405,656 kilograms. They flew a Boeing 747-400 powered by four 56,000-pound P&W 4056 engines over Moses Lake, Washington.

On November 18, 1998, Bryan Galbreath of the United States set a record for the greatest mass carried to a height of 15,000 meters of 1,503 kilograms. He flew a Lockheed Martin U-2 powered by one 16,500-pound F118 GE1O1 engine over Palmdale, California.

On April 8, 1973, Alexandr Fedotov of the Soviet Union set a record for speed over a closed 100-kilometers circuit without a payload of 2,605.10 kilometers per hour. He flew an E-266 powered by two 11,000-kilogram RD engines over Podmoskovnoe Aerodrome in the Soviet Union.

On July 27, 1976, Adolphus Bledsoe of the United States set a record of 3,367.22 kilometers per hour for speed over a closed circuit of 1,000 kilometers both without a payload and with a 1,000-kilogram payload.

On July 13, 1983, Sergei Agapov and Boris Veremei of the Soviet Union set speed records of 2,0351.55 kilometers per hour for speed over a closed circuit of 1,000 kilometers with 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 and 30,000-kilogram payloads. They flew a 101 (military Tu-144) powered by four 20,000-kilogram 57 engines over Podmoskovnoe Aerodrome in the Soviet Union.

On September 24, 1981, G. Volokhov and A. Turumine of the Soviet Union set records of 962 kilometers per hour for speed over a closed circuit of 1,000 kilometers with 40,000, 45,000, 50,000, 55,000, 60,000, 65,000, 70,000, 75,000 and 80,000-kilogram payloads. They flew an Ilyushin IL-86 powered by four 13,000-kilogram Kuznetzov engines over Podmoskovnoe Aerodrome in the Soviet Union.

On January 12, 1961, Henry J. Deutschendorf of the United States set records of 1,708.82 kilometers per hour for speed over a closed circuit of 2,000 kilometers with 1,000 and 2,000-kilogram payloads. He flew a Convair B-58A Hustler powered by four GE J-79-SA 15,000-pound engines over Edwards Air Force Base in California.

On April 7, 1994, Michael S. Menser of the United States set a record of 964.95 kilometers per hour for speed over a closed circuit of 10,000 kilometers without a payload. He flew a Rockwell B-1B powered by four F101-GE-102 12,000-pound engines from Grand Forks, North Dakota, to Mullan, Indiana, via Monroeville, Alabama.

On August 26, 1995, Russell F. Mathers and Daniel G. Manuel of the United States set records of 884.26 kilometers per hour for speed over a closed circuit of 10,000 kilometers with 1,000, 2,000, and 5,000-kilogram payloads. They flew a Boeing B-52H powered by eight P&W TF-33 17,100-pound engines over Edwards Air Force Base in California.

On June 3, 1995, Douglas L. Raaberg, Ricky W. Carver, Gerald V. Goodfellow, and Kevin D. Clotfelter of the United States set a record for speed around the world, eastbound, with refueling in flight, of 1,015.76 kilometers per hour. They flew a Rockwell B-1B powered by four GE F101-GE-102 30,780-pound engines.

On October 28, 1977, Walter H. Mullikin, Albert A. Frink, and W. Beckett, Jr., of the United States set a record for speed around the world over both of the earth’s poles of 784.31 kilometers per hour. They flew in a Boeing 747 SP powered by four P&W JT9D-7 46,150-pound engines, from San Francisco, California, via the geographical north pole, London, Capetown, South Africa, the geographical south pole, and Auckland, New Zealand.

Gas Balloons

On September 8, 1984, Coy Foster of the United States set a record distance of 695.74 kilometers in a gas balloon over 250 cubic meters or less when he flew from Plano, Texas, to Lee’s Summitt, Missouri.

On July 1, 1922, Georges Cormier of France set a record distance of 804.17 kilometers for a gas balloon of 400 to 600 cubic meters volume when he flew from Paris, France, to Muszen, Germany.

Bibliography
  • Baker, David. Flight and Flying: A Chronology. New York: Facts on File, 1994. A comprehensive almanac of aviation history.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. Aviation Year by Year. Updated ed. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 2001. Written for enthusiasts and the general public alike, covers the history of aviation through the year 2000 with articles, photographs, and timelines.
  • Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft, 2001-2002. New York: Franklin Watts, 2001. The standard reference for current aviation.

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