BRIZE NORTON, England — A British air force transport jet returned to England early Tuesday after a record-setting round-trip flight to the Falklands Islands, 8,430 miles away, an air force spokesman said.
The Royal Air Force VC-10 touched down at Brize Norton RAF base just after 2 a.m., 14 hours and 58 minutes after taking off from Mt. Pleasant military air base in the South Atlantic island chain.
The spokesman said that knocked 2 hours and 17 minutes off the previous nonstop south to north record set by an RAF Nimrod in January, 1984, bringing then-Defense Secretary Michael Heseltine back from the Falklands.
The VC-10, powered by four Rolls-Royce engines, arrived in the Falklands on Saturday, 15 hours and 45 minutes after leaving Britain, the first time the north to south journey has been made nonstop.
Maj. Gen. Neil Carlier, commander of British forces in the Falklands, said the flight was designed to test the RAF's ability to reinforce the garrison rapidly.
Britain recaptured the Falklands after an Argentine invasion in 1982.