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25 hours & 20,000km! Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers set new WORLD RECORD for range & duration of non-stop flight

25 hours & 20,000km! Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers set new WORLD RECORD for range & duration of non-stop flight
A pair of Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers have spent more than 25 hours in the air and covered over 20,000km, setting a new world record for non-stop flight range, and duration, for this type of aircraft, it has been revealed.

The Defense Ministry, in Moscow, made the announcement on Saturday with Sergey Kobylash, the commander of Russia’s long-range aviation service, saying that “nobody has flown this type of aircraft longer.” 

The record, which was set on Saturday, saw two Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers (NATO reporting name ‘Blackjack’) “staying in the air for more than 25 hours and covering a distance of over 20,000km (12,427 miles),” the commander added. 

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The landmark flight took place above the neutral waters of the Arctic and Pacific oceans as well as the Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, Chukchi and Barents seas, and was performed in full compliance with international rules governing use of airspace, he pointed out. 

The Tu-160s refueled three times in the air during their mission, which required six Il-78 tanker planes to be mobilised. At some points along their route, the bombers were escorted by Russian Su-35 fighter jets as well as “aircraft of foreign states,” Kobylash said. 

The previous record was also set by Tu-160s, which spent 24 hours and 24 minutes in the air back in 2010. In the case of passenger aircraft, a Qantas Airlines flight from New York to Sydney last year is considered to be the longest, as it saw a Boeing 787-9 with 49 people on board staying the air for 19 hours and 15 minutes, covering a distance of 16,200km (around 10,066 miles).

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