A Royal Air Force (RAF) Airbus A400M Atlas tactical freighter has set a new record by performing the longest flight for an aircraft of its type. The journey took place between Brize Norton Air Force Base in England and the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean.
RAF 10/101 Squadron was responsible for conducting the unprecedented mission, departing the UK on 3 July and remaining in the air for 20 hours and 36 minutes before reaching the US overseas territory. The four-engine turboprop covered a total of 12,800 km.
During the flight, the A400M was refueled three times in the air. The first was performed by a Voyager tanker from 10/101 Squadron that departed with Atlas from the United Kingdom, and the second and third refuelings were performed over the North Pole and the Pacific Ocean by a second Voyager that took off from Alaska.
A @RoyalAirForce A400M Atlas flew to Guam, completing the longest ever flight by this aircraft type, to start the RAF deployment for Ex Mobility Guardian 23. Flying non-stop for 20hrs 36mins, it was refueled on the way three times.
— RAF Air Mobility Force (@AirMobilityRAF) July 5, 2023
The airlifter’s long flight was carried out as part of the “Mobility Guardian” military exercise, which consisted of assessing the RAF’s capability in long-range deployments.
The aircraft flew to Guam to participate in joint military training with the armed forces of the US, Australia, Canada, France, Japan and New Zealand.
“The non-stop flight of the A400M Atlas from RAF Brize Norton to Guam is a great example of our ability to project air power, allowing us to get aircraft, crews and vital equipment to the other side of the world in a timely manner and for them to be able to operate immediately,” said the Air Commodore Anthony Lyle, RAF’s Air Mobility Force Commander.