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World’s shortest flight celebrates millionth passenger

The flight of unusually short distinction is in the U.K. and involves flying from one of the Orkney Islands to another. With a flight time of around two minutes, the flight is acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records as the shortest undertaken by a mechanical aircraft.

Indeed the flight is so short that, with favourable weather conditions (the wind blowing in the right direction) can be completed in as short a time frame as 45 seconds. The distance travelled is 1.7 miles.

The Orkney Islands are an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland. The area comprises approximately 70 islands, of which 20 are inhabited. Around 21,000 people live on the islands.

Due to the need for people to move between two of the main islands (Westray to Papa Westray), the quickest way to do this is by flight rather than by boat. This is facilitated by a regional airline called Loganair and the company have been running flights between the islands since 1967.

Having made hundreds of thousands of flights with its eight-seater aircraft, Loganair decided to celebrate the trip made by the one millionth passenger. The winner of this was a woman called Anne Rendall. Ms Rendall had many trips between the islands, notching up somewhere close to 10,000 trips.

Anne Rendall was awarded with a bouquet of flowers. Her work in finance, working for the Royal Bank of Scotland, accounts for the necessity of the frequent flights.

Speaking with Sky News, Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s managing director, stated: “The route is a jewel in our network and known across the world. However, despite its fame, it’s an essential life-line for the people of Orkney, connecting the individual islands via a convenient air link.”

If you have two minutes to spare, the entire flight can be watched below:

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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