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Hacienda: A Legendary Modified Cessna 172

Two intrepid pilots, a modified Cessna 172 and a 64-day endurance record that has stood for 63 years.

Hanging from the roof at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport is the Cessna 172 known as “Hacienda,” named after the hotel that sponsored the record flight. That flight, which began with a takeoff in 1958 and ended with a landing more than two months later, set a record that still stands. Photo by Mr. Satterly, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visitors to McCarran International Airport are treated to the sight of a heavily modified Cessna 172 hanging from the ceiling. Emblazoned on each side of the small plane is the word “Hacienda.” Few passing by it in their travel to or from the bright lights of Las Vegas know how remarkable a plane hangs above them. It is, in fact, one of the most unlikely tales in all of aviation. 

That legend was built on the strength of one flight, one extraordinary sortie that lasted between takeoff and landing 64 days, 22 hours, 19 minutes and five seconds. 

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