Group To Set Westward Circumnavigation Record


A Florida company aims to set the record for fastest circumnavigation and it’s doing it the hard way. Global Jet Care will fly a Learjet 36A R/X westward from Wichita at midnight Thursday, fighting headwinds the whole way during its Century Mission. It’s a fundraiser for the Classic Lear Jet Foundation’s effort to restore the first customer delivery Lear 35 to flying condition.

The five-person crew plans to be back there 54 hours and 30 minutes later, but if it takes longer it will still set the record since no one has attempted it going west. “Since there isn’t a record for this route, it will be a challenge to other airplanes of the same category to try to break the record they set,” a news release says.  

If all goes according to plan, the Lear will make 11 stops across the Pacific, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Canada before getting back to Wichita on April 6. The flight will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the World Flight, the first successful circumnavigation, which was done by eight Army Air Service pilots and mechanics in four Douglas World Cruisers starting on April 6, 1924. It took them 175 days and 74 stops.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. Flew Lear 35’s for 13 years. The R/X is a mod that replaces the factory tip tanks with larger aftermarket units. Add that to the larger fuel capacity (fuselage tank) of a 36 model and you get some halacious range out of an aircraft with a small cockpit!

  2. I think it’s the first customer delivered Lear Jet ever that they hope to restore to flying condition which was a Lear 23.