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Article on the C172 on BBC

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Article on the C172 on BBC

Old 3rd Mar 2017, 16:50
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Article on the C172 on BBC

Interesting article
BBC - Future - The plane so good it?s still in production after 60 years

Particularly, i'd never heard about this before:
And during its history, that ease of use and reliability has led to some quite remarkable flights.
On 4 December 1958 two pilots called Robert Timm and John Cook climbed into a Cessna 172 at McCarran Airfield in Las Vegas. Their mission? To break the world record for the longest flight without landing.
(Credit: iStock)
The 172's excellent view makes it much easier for pilots to land (Credit: iStock)
This would be no easy feat. The previous record, which was set in 1949, was a colossal achievement – the two pilots had flown an aircraft very like Timm and Cook’s Cessna for a total of 46 days – all to raise money for a cancer fund.
The two pilots would need to keep their aircraft in the air for nearly seven weeks, without landing once. According to Jalopnik, the necessary modifications took more than a year to make – and included a small sink so the two pilots could brush their teeth and even bathe. In order to do this, the two pilots had to strip out the back seats so they had room for a mattress. While one pilot flew the plane, the other would sleep. And should they feel the need to shower? A small platform could be extended between the open cabin and the wing strut – allowing the relief pilot to shower out in the open air.
A small platform could be extended between the open cabin and the wing strut – allowing the pilot to shower out in the open air
Refuelling and resupplying the plane with food and water was an even bigger challenge. The Cessna had to fly close to the ground and match the speed of a car carrying supplies for the pilots – the reserve pilot would then lower a bucket so food and water could be put in it and then hoisted back up into the cabin. And twice a day, a fuel tanker drove underneath the Cessna and a hose was raised up to the aircraft. It filled up a belly tank especially installed for the flight, which then transferred fuel into the plane’s normal fuel tanks (and then the belly tank was topped up too). Even driving the resupply vehicles was a challenge – while one person steered, the other matched the speed of Timm and Cook’s Cessna by looking out of the window while keeping their foot on the accelerator. It was a good thing the flight took place in Nevada, with acres of flat, featureless desert outside the city boundaries.
The two pilots kept this up day after day. One week turned to two. Then a month. Then six weeks. When the pair broke the record – seven weeks after they first took off – they decided to make it almost impossible for anyone to beat it. On they flew, for more than two more weeks. When they finally landed, on 4 February 1959, their Cessna had been in the air for 64 days, 22 hours, 19 minutes and five seconds – a record for a refueled flight that still stands today. The aircraft, called Hacienda, is now hanging in the ceiling of Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 18:21
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Hmm just over 1558 problem free hours without maintenance on a 1950s engine with 1950s metallurgy, machining precision, oil and fuel technology - methinks modern MOA's are ripping us off big time every 100 hours...
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