Winner of the “world’s longest flight” contest

Flight TerraPassLast week we announced a contest, with the prize of a Flight TerraPass going to whomever could find the two airports farthest apart in the world using our nifty flight emissions calculator.

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.

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  1. Tom Trevathan - July 19, 2006

    I’m confused. If the circumference of the earth is 25,000 miles, then the maximum distance between any two points can be only 12,500 miles, unless you only allow travel in one and only one direction, and don’t allow meadering.
    Can anyone explain?

  2. Oliver - July 19, 2006

    Ok, so, Earth is a little over 24,000 miles in Circumference, that is ALL the way around. That means that the furthest one could be from ANY point on Earth is a little over 12,000 miles. Actually, direct distance is about 8,00 miles but that is through Earth, not around.
    You need to update the numbers on this article.

  3. Adam Stein - July 19, 2006

    The flight calc computes round trip miles. Confusing in this post, I agree, but the numbers are all correct. I will post a clarification.

  4. Dee - January 19, 2007

    are these pilots still alive, do they have a web site, a local CAP group would love to interview them. dee