A Gulfstream G650ER, owned by Qatar Executive, has smashed the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the earth via the North and South Poles.
The ultra-long-range business jet (A7-CGD) took-off from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida at 09:32 local time on 9 July on a mission to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and the 500th anniversary of the first global circumnavigation.
One More Orbit
The aircraft touched down at KSC at 08:12 on 11 July, with the mission lasting 46h, 39min, 38s. The G650ER flew a distance of 22,422nm (40,170km) at an average speed of 465kt (861km/h).
Three brief, half-hour stops to refuel were made in Kazakhstan, Mauritius and Chile.
Hamish Harding, one of the G650ER's eight-strong crew, says the mission, known as One More Orbit, “is our way of paying tribute to the past, the present, and the future of space exploration”.
The previous record was set in 2008, when a TAG Aviation-operated Bombardier Global Express circumnavigated the earth, flying over both poles in 52h, 32min at an average speed of 444kt.