24 Nov 2020

24 November 2000: Steve Fossett breaks the record for Speed around the world, westbound

On 24 November 2000, American adventurer and pilot Steve Fossett and his crew Alexander Tai and Pierre d’Avenas broke the record for Speed around the world westbound (805.59 km/h) in a powered aircraft. Twenty years later, this record still stands.

The three aviators took off from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on 22 November and landed two days later at the same location after flying via Kona, Majuro, Palau, Singapore, Male, Nairobi, Abidjan, Fortaleza and Barranquilla. The total flight duration was 51h 35min 13sec. It was achieved with a Cessna 750 Citation X, powered by a Tay engine manufactured by Rolls Royce.

Round-the-world flights

During his flying career, Steve Fossett broke no fewer than 89 world records in different air sports: Gliding, Powered Aircraft, Ballooning and Airship. At the time of the November 2000 record, Fossett, 56, had already broken 48 records.

A few months before, on 16 February 2000, he established the same the Speed around the world record, but eastbound (901.07 km/h), with Darrin Adkins and Alexander Tai.

In the following years, he continued in his quest for circumnavigation achievements and records. On 3 July 2002, he broke the record of the Shortest time around the world in a balloon (320h 33m); on 3 March 2005, he became the first man to fly solo around the world unrefuelled. With this flight, he set several records, including the absolute world record for Speed around the world, non-stop and non-refuelled (550.78 km/h).

Top picture: Steve Fossett in front of his Cessna 750 Citation X