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What is the longest flight time for a single pilot alone in an aircraft?

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    $\begingroup$ I found a number of relevant results by searching "longest solo flight" in Google. $\endgroup$ – Greg Hewgill Mar 30 '15 at 1:07
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    $\begingroup$ Relevant Meta discussion $\endgroup$ – raptortech97 Mar 30 '15 at 1:34
  • $\begingroup$ @greg me too (but only after relalizing i should use the word "solo") and I don't know which, if any, is correct. $\endgroup$ – Scary Spice Mar 30 '15 at 2:49
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    $\begingroup$ Glider pilots can go for aaaaaggges, are they within the scope of your question? $\endgroup$ – Ben Mar 30 '15 at 6:20
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    $\begingroup$ Aviation records can be researched at the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) web site. $\endgroup$ – Porcupine911 Mar 30 '15 at 15:41
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What is the longest flight time for a single pilot alone in an aircraft?

13 days if a balloon counts as an aircraft.

Balloon

Steve Fossett set a record in 2002

In 2002, he became the first person to fly around the world alone, nonstop in any kind of aircraft. He launched the 10-story high balloon Spirit of Freedom from Northam, Western Australia on June 19, 2002 and returned to Australia on July 3, 2002, subsequently landing in Queensland. Duration and distance of this solo balloon flight was 13 days, 8 hours, 33 minutes (14 days 19 hours 50 minutes to landing), 20,626.48 statute miles (33,195.10 km).


Other types of aircraft

The following information was volunteered in comments by Scary Spice and Peter Kämpf.

Glider

Charles Atger, stayed aloft for 56.25 hours, solo.

Powered airplane

Charles Lindbergh was all by himself for 33.5 hours.

Spacecraft

Ron Evans, Apollo 17 Command Module Pilot, was alone for 79 hours, 49 minutes.

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  • $\begingroup$ What was the "powered airplane" that was used to set the record? $\endgroup$ – Taher Elhouderi Mar 31 '15 at 21:39
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    $\begingroup$ Wasn't it the Spirit of St. Andrew? Or maybe St Peter... $\endgroup$ – Cullub May 9 '15 at 15:17
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The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) does no longer accept new records for endurance flights of airplanes and gliders for safety reasons. They used to have such a category until at least the mid 1930s.

The longest powered, unrefueled, solo flight I was able to find is the circumnavigation of the Earth by Steve Fossett in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer. After taking of on February 8, 2006, at 12:22 UTC he flew for 76 hours and 45 minutes and travelled an official distance of 41,467 km.

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow! Do you know if he used AutoPilot? Seems that would make it a bit easier... $\endgroup$ – Cullub May 9 '15 at 15:21

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