We have all dreamed of traveling around the world. Anyone who has the opportunity to do this will tell you that it is an incredible experience.
Seeing all of the wondrous cities and sights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Landing and visiting all of these places can take a very long period of time but what if you simply skip the landing and just fly around the world?
It has been done several times but how were they able to do it and how long did it take for them to accomplish this staggering feat?
In this article, we will look at all of this and break down just how long does it take to fly around the world?
Flying Around The World
The idea of flying around the world has always been popular with famed author Jules Verne dreamed of it in his book “Around the World in 80 days” way back in 1872 by using both sea and rail connections.
A team of US military aviators was the first to make the theory a reality when they made the first flight around the world in 1924.
It took them a staggering 175 days and they covered well over 42,000 kilometers. They were the first to complete the trip but by no means would they be the fastest.
Nowadays, if you were prepared to endure sitting on a plane to circumnavigate the earth using commercial flights it would take around 45 hours to fly Los Angeles-London-Sydney-Los Angeles.
Los Angeles to London – 10.5 hours
London to Sydney – 21 hours
Sydney to Los Angeles – 13.5 hours
How About Non-Stop?
The first nonstop flight around the world was made back in 1986. Using a specifically designed aircraft they were able to fly around the equator route in just nine days, three minutes, and 44 seconds a big-time save from the US military’s 175 days.
The current record is held by a Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer. The aircraft was single-engined and made its flight in 2005 piloted by Steve Fossett.
This attempt flew the route through the Tropic of Cancer and flew completely around the world in only 67 hours.
To ensure the attempt was a success it took advantage of winds and flew at a much higher altitude allowing it to burn some military-grade aviation fuel along with a lower freezing point than just standard jet fuel.
Circumnavigating the world in one non-stop journey is not possible with your standard commercial airliner.
There are now some flights that can do huge distances in one flight such as Qantas flying non-stop from Perth, Australia to London in the United Kingdom.
The longest commercial flight remains from Singapore to New York which takes a staggering 18 hours and 45 minutes to complete non-stop.
Fastest Flight Around The World
Allowing to be stopped, then the aircraft that holds the record for the fastest trip around the world will come as a shock to nobody who was alive during the aircraft’s short but majorly impactful existence.
The flight was accomplished in 1995 and had 80 passengers on board, the event was to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Colombus discovering the Americas.
It began and also ended at JFK airport in New York and during the flight stopped six times in Toulouse, Dubai, Bangkok, Guam, Honolulu, and also Acapulco.
Concorde operations were ceased by Air France in May 2003, and then by British Airways in October 2003.
Around The Poles
We have heard of routes that traveled over the Tropic of Cancer but what about a flight that went around both the North Pole and the South Pole?
The record for this route was only set recently in July 2019 by a team made up of both astronauts and pilots.
The attempt named ‘One More Orbit’ flew to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
The Qatar Executive Gulfstream G650ER business jet made refueling stops in Kazakhstan, Chile, and Mauritius.
The journey took 46 hours and 39 minutes.
Other Methods Of Traveling The World
Flying is not the only method that human beings have used to travel the world so let’s discuss some of the other ways people have circumvented our beautiful planet.
Train around the world
This is a method of travel that you can actually ride around the world. You are able to purchase a ticket on a train that travels for 53 days across the globe.
Beginning in London and traveling by plane to America where you will spend 20 days traveling across the United States by rail.
Then you will fly to Shanghai where for the remaining trip you will travel exclusively on rails.
You will pass through Russia via Mongolia and then Europe through Vienna, Venice, and Prague before the trip ends back in London.
How long would it take to sail around the world?
Not one for the faint of heart but it can be done sailing the circumference of the Earth is possible but will set you back three and a half years if you wish to stop at places along the way.
If you want it done in one sitting then the trip can be completed in 40 days.
If you wish to sail the journey non-stop then it can take you 100 days on the correct boat.
How long would it take to walk around the world?
How long would it take to walk around the Earth?
Believe it or not, someone has actually walked the globe, Dave Knust walked across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America.
The trip took four years but he was in a group.
Steve Newman was the first to attempt it on his own walking across 20 countries over a four-year span.
Walking the planet is most certainly possible but it does require lots of physical and mental endurance.
Whilst sitting on a commercial flight around the world is currently not possible with new long distance flights pushing the boundaries every year hopefully there will be one soon for those of us who wish to see the entire planet in one trip that will not take several years off of our life.
I have been traveling around the world by air since the early 70s and living overseas too. I worked for British Airways for a number of years and I am also a private pilot.