Concorde Sets Round-The-World Commercial Record
LISBON, Portugal (AP) _ An Air France supersonic jetliner shaved more than three hours off the commercial flight record for circling the globe, finishing Tuesday in 33 hours, 1 minute.
The Concorde had left Lisbon at 7:54 a.m. Monday and wheeled to a stop there at 4:55 p.m. Tuesday, after covering 25,063 miles. It made stops in the Dominican Republican; Acapulco, Mexico; Honolulu, Hawaii; Guam; Bangkok, Thailand; and Bahrain.
The previous round-the-world record for a commercial flight was 36 hours, 8 minutes, set in 1988.
Seventy passengers and a crew of 16 were on Flight AF 1492, planned to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas.
Lisbon was chosen as the trip’s starting point and destination because its airport is the nearest to Columbus’ point of departure, Palos de la Frontera, Spain. The explorer landed on the northern part of what is now the Dominican Republic on Oct. 12, 1492.
Dallas computer specialist Lawrence Lacerte paid $23,800 per ticket for himself and two of his children to ride the Concorde.
″It was great fun,″ Lacerte said. ″The longest thing was trying to explain to the kids the international dateline.″
The aircraft was airborne 23 hours and 7 minutes. Officials did not immediately know how much of the flight was supersonic.