|Earliest Rational Design for Flight - According to the Royal Aeronautical Society, London, Britain, was published in 1714 by Emanuel Swedenborg.
Mile-high altitude - Walter Brookins was awarded $ 5,000 for setting an altitude record of 6,234 feet in his Wright Model A in the skies over Atlantic City, New Jersey (July 17, 1910).
Earliest Jet Engined Flight - Was made by the Heinkel He 178, piloted by Flug Kapitan Erich Warsitz. It was done at Marienehe, Germany on August 27, 1939.
Most Transatlantic flights - Between March 1948 and September 1984 2,880 crossings were made by Charles M. Schimpf. An average of 6.4 per month.Fastest Circumnavigational flight - Was 36hr, 8min, and 34 sec by the Gulfstream IV. The flight was from Houston, TX and around the world through: Lake Charles, Ireland, Dubin, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Honolulu, and Miami.
First Circumnavigational Flight w/o Refueling - Was made by Richard Rutan & Jeana Yeager in Voyager. Their journey originated at Edwards Air Force Base, CA.
First Circumpolar Flight - Made by Captian Elgen Long in a Piper PA-31 Navajo. Over Antarctia the cabin temperature fell to -40 degrees F.
Nonstop Aircraft Distance - Russel Boardman and John Polando flew from Floyd Bennett Field in New York to Istanbul, Turkey in 50 hours and 8 minutes, establishing a new world record in a 300 horsepower Bellanca Pacemaker, the Cape Cod on July 28, 1931.
Longest Wingspan - Was achieved by the "Spruce Goose". The 40 million dollar Hughes H.4 Hercules flying boat had a wingspan of 319 ft 19 in and was 218 ft 8 in. It flew only once; it was piloted by Howard Hughes for a test run of 3,000 feet.
Longest Wingspan of a current aircraft - The Airbus A380 has a span of 261 ft, the Russian Antonov An-124 has a span of 240 ft, the Boeing 747-400 has one of 213 ft, and the USAF C-5B cargo plane has a span of 222 ft.
Electric Aircraft - The MB-E1 is the first electric aircraft. The aircraft has a wingspan of 39.4 ft, 24 ft long, and weighs 882 lb. It runs via a Bosch 10.7 hp engine. It's power comes from a Varta FP25 nickel-cadmium 25 Ah batteries.
Smallest Aircraft - Was the Bumble Bee Two. It was designed and buit by Robert Starr of Arizona. It had a wingspan of 5 ft 6 in and was 396 lb empty. The fastest speed attained by it was 190 mph. The Bumble Bee Two crashed on May 8, 1988.
Largest Airliner (so far) - Is the Airbus A 380. It's first flight was on April 27, 2005. It provides seating for up to 853 people in all-economy class configurations.
Longest Air Ticket - M. Bruno Leunen of Brussels, Belgium in December 1984 had a ticket 39 ft 4.5 in long. The 53,203 mile flight was with 80 airlines and had 109 layovers.
Passenger Load - Was achieved by a El Al 747 airline during Operation Solomon. It carried 1,087 Ethopian Jews out of Falasha to Israel in 1991.
Most Capacious - Is the Aero Spacelines Super Guppy. It has a cargo hold of 49,790 cubic feet. It has a max takeoff weight of 87.5 tons. It has a wingspan of 156 ft 3 in. The cargo compartment is 108 ft long with a cylindrical section of 25 ft in diameter.
Largest Propeller - The largest used is a 22 ft 7.5 in in diameter Garuda propeller. It was fitted on a Linke-Hofmann R II built in Breslau, Germany. It flew in 1919 and was driven by a 260 hp engine at 545 rpm.
Most Flights By a Jetliner - A typical DC-9 in service now has logged in 94,159 flights as of 1992.
Oldest Jetliner - According to the British-based aviation insurance service company Airclaims, a 707 and a DH106 Comet, built in 1958, were still being used as of May 1992.
Fastest Speed - Was achieved by Captian Eldon Joersz and Major George T. Morgan in a Lockheed SR-71. The record is 2,193.2 mph.
Supersonic Flight - Was first achieved by Chuck Yeager over Edwards Air Force Base, CA. He used a XS-1 rocket plane. He achieved Mach 1.015 (670 mph) at 40,000 ft on October 14, 1947.
Fastest Biplane - Is the Italian Fiat CR42B, with a 1,010 hp Daimler-Benz DB601A engine, which attained 323 mph in 1941. Only one was built.
Longest Duration - Was attained by Robert Timm and John Cook in the Cessna 172. The record is 64 days, 22 hrs, 19 min, 5 sec. They took of from McCarran Airfield, Las Vegas, NV. They traveled a distance eqiv. to 6 times around the world.
Fastest combat jet - The former Soviet Mikoyan MiG-25 fighter (codenamed "Foxbat" by NATO). The single-seat reconnaissance "Foxbat-B" has been tracked by radar at speeds of Mach 3.2 (3,395 km/h).
Fastest propeller-driven aircraft - The former Soviet Tupolev Tu-95 /142 (codenamed "Bear" by NATO). It has four 14,795 hp engines, which drive contra-rotating propellers, giving it a maximum level speed of Mach 0.82 (925 km/h).
Highest speed achieved by a piston-engined aircraft - This is 850.24 km/h over a 3 km course. It was achieved by Rare Bear, a modified Grumman F8F Bearcat piloted by Lyle Shelton. It was set on 21 August 1989 in Las Vegas.
Fastest airliner - The Tupolev Tu-144, which was first flown on 31 December 1968, was reported to have reached Mach 2.4 (2,587 km/h). It has a normal cruising speed of Mach 2.2.
The New York - London speed record - This is currently 2 hours 54 minutes and 30 seconds, set by the BAC/Aérospatiale Concorde on 14 April 1990.
Smallest twin-engined aircraft - This is believed to be the Columbian MC-10 Cri-Cri, first flown on 19 July 1973. It has a wingspan of 4.9m and a length of 3.91m. It is powered by two 15hp JPX PUL engines.
Smallest biplane - The Bumble Bee Two, designed and built by Robert H. Starr of Arizona, USA, was the smallest biplane ever flown. Capable of only carrying one person, it had a wingspan of 1.68m and was 2.69m long. It weighed 179.6kg when empty and could attain speeds of up to 306 km/h.
Smallest monoplane - The Baby Bird, designed and built by Donald R. Stits, is the smallest monoplane ever flown. It is 3.35m long, has a wingspan of 1.91m and an empty weight of 114.3kg. Powered by a 55hp two-cylinder Hirth engine, it has a top speed of 177km/h.
The smallest jet - The smallest jet is Silver Bullet, which was built by Bob and Mary Ellen Bishop of Aguila, Arizona, USA, in 1976. It is 3.7m long, has a wingspan of 5.2m and weighs 198kg when empty. It can fly at 483km/h.
The biggest helicopter - The Russian Mil Mi-12 had a rotor diameter of 67m, a length of 37m and a weight of 101.6 tons. Powered by four 6,500hp turboshaft engines, it was demonstrated as a prototype at the 1971 Paris Air Show, but never entered service.
The largest helicopter currently being produced - The 40m long Russian Mil Mi-26, with a maximum take-off weight of 55 tons and an empty weight of 27.7 tons. It is powered by two 11,240 hp turboshaft engines.
The smallest helicopter - The single-seat Seremet WS-8 ultra-light helicopter, built in Denmark in 1976, had a 35hp engine and an empty weight of 53kg. Its rotor measured 4.5m in diameter.
The biggest balloon - The largest balloon ever built had an inflated volume of 2 million cubic metres and was 300 m high. Manufactured by Winzen Research Inc of Minnesota, USA, it was destroyed at its launch on 8 July 1975.
Greatest mass ascent from a single site - This took place on 15 August 1987, when 128 hot-air balloons took off in the course of one hour at the Ninth Bristol International Balloon Festival, at Ashton Court, Bristol, UK.
Biggest airships - The world's largest airships were the 210.5 ton German airships Hindenburg (LZ 129) and Graf Zeppelin II (LZ 130). Both were 245 m long with a hydrogen gas capacity of 200,000 cubic metres.
Biggest working airship - The largest working airship is the WDL 1B, three models of which have been built at Mulheim, Germany. It is 60m long and has an inflated volume of 7,200 cubic metres.
Longest Commercial Flight - November 10, 2005 a Boeing 777-200LR plane has broken the world record for the longest non-stop flight by a commercial jet, landing at London's Heathrow airport on a flight from Hong Kong via the Pacific. Piloted by US captain Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann, the jet touched down in London at 1315 GMT after 11,664 nm (21,601 km). The flight lasted 22 hours and 42 minutes.
Highest altitude of a hot air balloon - On November 26, 2005 India's veteran industrialist and aviator Vijaypat Singhania set a new world record of flying in a hot air balloon at an altitude of 69,852 feet above sea level over Ulhasnagar, India. The previous record was set by Sweden's Per Lindstrand, who had reached a height of 64,997 feet (19,811 meters) in Plano, Texas on June 6, 1988.
Highest altitude of a glider - On August 29, 2006 Steve Fossett logged a record-setting flight, when he and Norwegian co-pilot Einar Enevoldson reached 50,699 feet flying a glider over the Argentine Andes.
Updated September 2012
MORE (Famous Firsts)
"The airplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth."
--Antoine de St-Exupéry
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