And the winner is Phil, who dazzled the judges with his discovery of airports at Neiva, Colombia and Palembang, Indonesia that rack up 24,849 round trip miles, sitting at almost directly opposite points along the equator. [Post has been updated to make clear that this is a round trip flight.]
As another commenter pointed out, you’d expect the winning entry to fall along the equator, because the earth bulges out around the middle. The circumference of the planet at its widest point is 24,901 miles, so Phil’s answer is just shy of the theoretical maximum.
Readers offered up lots of other interesting nuggets. No prize, but a tip of the hat for the following factoids:
- The longest nonstop commercial plane flight that you can actually take is between New York and Singapore, 19,050 miles round trip.
- The longest commercial flight of all time: “On December 10 2005 a Boeing 777-200LR dubbed the Worldliner completed the world’s longest non-stop passenger airline flight traveling 13,422 miles or 21,602 kilometers from Hong Kong to London, UK in roughly 22 hours and 40 minutes.”
- Longest flight ever: “Amazingly the record for the longest airplane flight dates back all the way to 1958 – 1959. On December 04 1958 Bob Timm and John Cook left Las Vegas, NV in a Cessna 172 and didn’t land again until February 07 1959. In the 64 days 22 hours 19 minutes and 5 seconds they were airborne they manage to cover a distance comparable to flying six times around the Earth. During the trip they were constantly refueled in flight and swooped down to grab water and food from a chase car that followed them.”
Congratulations again to Phil for winning a TerraPass Intercontinental, and thanks to everyone who participated.