Gulfstream G650ER

Business Jet Flight Sets World Record

Fifty years after Apollo 11's moon landing, a Gulfstream G650ER makes "one more orbit."

Hamish Harding, chairman of UK-based aircraft brokerage Action Aviation, had a dream: to set a world speed record for flying around the earth. He did just that last year in a Qatar Executive Gulfstream G650ER ultra-long-range business jet.

Taking off from Kennedy Space Center on the 50th anniversary of the July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 moon landing, he was accompanied by a crew that included former International Space Station commander Col. Terry Virts along with scientists, engineers, aviators, and entrepreneurs. The mission—which broke the Guinness round-the-world speed record for an aircraft flying over the North and South poles—covered 24,962 miles at an average speed of 465 miles per hour. It lasted 46 hours and 40 minutes, beating the previous Guinness record by five hours and 52 minutes.

Gulfstream's G650ER Notches Another Speed Record

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During the flight, Col. Virts directed a film on the mission, One More Orbitwhich has been released via pay-per-view and will be issued on DVD before the end of 2020. “The film is about the adventure and setting this world record, but its biggest point is that exploration can bring people together,” says Virts. “We had 10 people from 10 countries on our mission, and we became lifelong friends.”