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World’s longest-ever flight remains undefeated after lasting for 64 days
Featured Image Credit: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive/Flickr

World’s longest-ever flight remains undefeated after lasting for 64 days

Imagine being on a flight for this long

If you thought a flight to Australia took a long time, think again.

The world's longest ever flight time still remains undefeated, despite it taking place decades ago, in 1958.

The longest ever flight was taken by two men named Robert Timm and John Cook in 1958/1959.

The pilots flew a Cessna 172 over the desserts of Las Vegas, as well as over Los Angeles, and managed to break the world record for the longest-ever flight.

The pair set off on December 4, 1958 and flew for over two months.

The pilots travelled for a whopping 64 days, 22 hours and 19 minutes and covered 150,000 miles, which is the equivalent of over six round-the-world trips.

The idea came about after a businessman in Las Vegas wanted to promote his new hotel, the Hacienda Hotel.

The flight was promoting the Hacienda Hotel.
Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum

His slot machine mechanic, Robert Timm - also a WW2 bomber pilot - thought it would be a good idea to break the flight endurance record by flying a plane with 'Hacienda Hotel' scribed across the aircraft.

Spending a year modifying the plane so it was up to task, Timm made some changes - including the addition of an extra fuel tank - as well as a mattress, a sink and a camp toilet.

Once it was ready for take-off, Timm and his co-pilot set off from Las Vegas. They had a few failed attempts - the longest of which lasted 17 days - but following some changes, including Timm replacing his co-pilot with mechanic John Wayne Cook - success was on the horizon.

The pair took off on December 4 1958, at 15.52pm and landed over two months later.

They spent most of the time flying over desserts and the aircraft was painted with white stripes on the tyres to ensure there were no secret landings.

We know what you're thinking - how is it possible? Wouldn't the aircraft run out of fuel?

The plane refuelled 128 times.
San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive/Flickr

Well, incredibly, twice a day, a truck with a fuel tank and pump would meet with the aircraft.

The plane hovered off the ground, and using a winch, the pilots would hook the hose, before standing on a platform attached to the door and refuelling into the tank.

They did this 128 times across the 64 days.

Although successful, the pilots definitely had some bumps along the way, including the generator failing and Timm falling asleep while flying for over an hour.

Luckily, the auto-pilot kicked in, but later failed days after the incident.

Having surpassed the record already, the pair decided to land on February 7 1959.

Before they landed, the tyres were checked to ensure there were no scuff marks that could have indicated a secret landing.

Timm died in 1976 while Cook passed away in 1995 - and it's fair to say the two have cemented themselves in the history books.

Topics: Technology, Travel