Action Aviation has announced their chairman, Hamish Harding, will attempt to beat the world record for circling the globe via both poles on a Gulfstream G650ER aircraft.
The Dubai-based aircraft brokerage company said the mission, titled One More Orbit, pays tribute to the achievements of the Apollo missions by highlighting how humans push the boundaries of aeronautics.
“To break the current record, which is unchallenged since 2008, we’ll need to push the limits of speed and aircraft performance,” said Harding, who will be one of the four G650 pilots flying the 48-hour continuous mission.
“We’ll also make the whole attempt carbon neutral and hopefully, our record will be certified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) and Guinness World Records.”
Harding will be accompanied by astronaut Terry Virts on the mission, which will set off on July 9, 2019 at 9:32 a.m. – the same time as the original Apollo 11 flight.
“This is our way of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, as we bring focus to the past, present and future of space exploration,” said Virts, a former Commander of the International Space Station and NASA Space Shuttle pilot.
“We will keep in touch with folks on the ground, with a live stream powered by inflight connectivity provider Satcom Direct, documenting the 25,000-mile (40,000 km) journey,” added Virts. “My ISS crewmate, Russian cosmonaut Col. Gennady Padalka, will be joining us in the spirit of international cooperation as we fly ‘one more orbit.’”
“Qatar Executive is very proud to partner with One More Orbit to make this attempt at breaking the world record possible,” said Ettore Rodaro, Executive Vice President of Qatar Executive, who provided the G650.
The mission will be documented by executive producer Jim Evans, known for his work with Virts on the IMAX film A Beautiful Planet.
“The logistics of pulling this mission off, from a global broadcast standpoint, are tremendous,” said Evans. “Our worldwide network of production talent are making this happen as a global live streaming event and documentary. We’re creating the ability to connect the mission with major outlets including the BBC.”