When The Skies The Limit – Aviation World Records

30 January 2014

When it comes to world records - aviation has set many milestones. So we decided to trawl through the Guinness World Record listings to find fascinating records connected to air travel. Here are our favourites.

 The Concorde was the first supersonic airliner used for a passenger service

Largest collection of airline boarding passes
While most people keep their boarding pass just long enough to ensure that the frequent flyer points have been credited, Italian Guido Barbazza collects them for posterity. The Genovese local owns the largest collection of airline boarding passes. As of October 11 2013 he has 1,764 passes from 1,800 flights taken with 92 airlines. According to the Guinness World Records Guido began his collection on April 14 1991.

Fastest aircraft
First flown on December 31 1968 in the former USSR, the Tupolev Tu-144, was reported to have reached Mach 2.4 or 2,587 km/hour. The aircraft's normal cruising speed was Mach 2.2. The following year the BAC/Aerospatiale Concorde cruised at Mach 2.02 or 2,333 km/hour. In 1976 the Concorde became the first supersonic airliner used for a passenger service. At 2 hours 52 mins 59 secs, the New York to London record was set on February 7 1996.

Largest collection of sick bags
In the 1970s Dutchman Niek Vermeulen began collecting airline sick bags. As of January 29 2010, he had amassed 6,016 bags from 1,142 airlines based in 160 countries.

Fastest circumnavigation by scheduled flights with one airline
Most travellers prefer to step out of the aircraft and take their time to explore destination. But not Brother Michael Bartlett who holds the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe on scheduled flights with a single airline - 59 hours and 58 minutes. Travelling on Air New Zealand between November 21 and 24 2006, Michael set off from London and flew through Hong Kong, Auckland, Christchurch, Auckland, Los Angeles before returning to London.

Fastest circumnavigation by scheduled flights, visiting six continents
German Michael Quandt touched down on six continents in a record breaking attempt of 66 hours and 31 minutes. The scheduled flights taken between July 6 and 8 2004 began in Singapore, before heading to Sydney, Los Angeles, Houston, Caracas, London, Cairo and Kuala Lumpur.

Longest flight by a paper aircraft
Gliding 69.14 metres, Americans Joe Ayoob and John Collins hold the Guinness record for designing and flying the longest flight by a paper plane. It was set on February 26, 2012 with a plane constructed by a single sheet of uncut A4 paper.

Longest non-stop flight by any aircraft
Travelling between February 8 and 11 2006, American Steve Fossett flew 42,469.4 kilometres in a Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer airplane from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida to Bournemouth in the United Kingdom. Steve beat the previous record, held by the Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon, by 165.4 km.

Most flights by a pet
Domestic cat Smarty holds the record for the most flights by a pet. This ginger female, who predominantly travelled between Cairo and Larnaca with her owners, made 92 flights before she sadly passed away in February 2007. We wonder if cats are eligible to register for frequent flyer points?

Lyndon Barnett

Guided by curiosity and a sense of adventure, Lyndon travelled independently to 69 countries on six continents. As such, travel is Lyndon's only addiction. He enjoys with equal measure - scaling the peaks of a South American mountain at altitude, attending opera in a European Opera House or hunting for a bargain in an Asian market.