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Flight altitude record

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere

These are the records set for going the highest in the atmosphere from the age of ballooning onward. Some records are certified by Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.


Year Date Altitude Person Aircraft Power Reference
1903 December 17, 1903 1 meter Wilbur Wright Wright Flyer propeller
1908 December 18, 1908 360 feet Wilbur Wright Biplane propeller at Auovors
1909 July 1909 150 metres Louis Paulhan Farman propellor Douai Air Show
1909 920 metres Louis Paulhan Farman propellor Lyon
1910 January 9, 1910 4,164 feet Louis Paulhan Farman propellor Los Angeles air meet [1]
1910 June 17, 1910 4,603 feet Walter Brookins Wright biplane propeller Washington Post; June 18, 1910; Indianapolis, Indiana, June 17, 1910. Walter Brookins, in a Wright biplane, broke the world's aeroplane record for altitude today, when he soared to a height of 4,603 feet, according to the measurement of the altimeter. His motor stopped as he was descending, and he made a glide of 2 miles, landing easily in a wheat field.
1910 October 30, 1910 8,471 feet Ralph Johnstone Wright biplane propeller International Aviation Tournament was at the Belmont Park race track in Elmont, New York [2]
52 years of records go here.
1962 17 July, 1962 95.94 km Robert Michael White X-15 rocket plane
1963 19 July, 1963 106.01 km Joseph Albert Walker X-15 rocket plane
1963 22 August, 1963 107.96 km Joseph Albert Walker X-15 rocket plane
2004 4 October, 2004 111.99 km Brian Binnie SpaceShipOne rocket plane

All balloons

Hot air balloons

Year Date Altitude Person Balloon Notes
2004 December 13, 2004 6.614 km David Hempleman-Adams Boland Rover A-2 Fédération Aéronautique Internationale record for hot air balloon as of 2007
1783 15 October, 1783 0.026 km Pilâtre de Rozier Montgolfier tethered balloon


The highest altitude obtained in an unpowered aeroplane is 50,699 feet (15,453 m) on 30 August 2006 by Steve Fossett (pilot) and Einar Enevoldson (co-pilot) in their 'Perlan' high performance research glider (a modified Glaser-Dirks DG-500).[1] This record is pending certification by the FAI. The previous record was 14,938 meters (49,009 feet) on February 17, 1986 by Robert Harris in lee waves over California City, USA.

See also