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Airbus sets record for longest flight

Published Oct. 9, 2005

An Airbus A-340 set the record for the longest non-stop flight by a commercial airliner Thursday, traveling from France to New Zealand in 21{ hours.

The 11,868-mile flight beat the 1989 record set by a Boeing 747, which flew 11,185 miles from London to Sydney, Australia. Boeing is Airbus' archrival in the commercial jetliner market.

Four pilots _ three French and one British _ flew the aircraft at a cruising speed of 545 mph.

The European jetliner refueled and took off five hours later to return to Paris' Le Bourget airport.

In another record flight, a single-engine turboprop landed at Le Bourget on Thursday after circling the globe in just under 80 hours, cutting the previous record by nearly half.

The French-built TBM-700, manufactured by the Socata subsidiary of Aerospatiale, flew 22,000 miles in 79 hours, 58 minutes. The three French pilots broke the journey into 16 legs since leaving Paris on Sunday.

The previous around-the-world record for a single-engine plane was 176 hours in 1976 by American pilot Donald Taylor.

Le Bourget is where American pilot Charles Lindbergh landed in 1927 after making the first solo trans-Atlantic flight.