Thread Tools
Aug 13, 2016, 06:37 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Discussion

New world record claim -301 km


On August 9th I piloted my modified Xplorer II RC glider to set what I hope will be a new world record for distance in a straight line for an RC glider. The flight must be approved by the FAI before it is an official world record. The flight was from Pioche, Nevada to Wendover, Utah, a distance of 301.4 km (187 miles) to a pre-designated landing location. The flight took 5 hours and 28 minutes to complete for an average speed of 55 km/hr (34 mph).This flight exceeded the existing world record of 228.7 km (142 miles) which I had set with my Xplorer the previous year. Once again I was very lucky to be part of a fantastic team. This flight could not have been done without the help of Dean Gradwell and Mike Grindle who were the official observers, and Rick Shelby who was acting as CD for the record attempt.
The X2 was damaged while landing the previous day after a flight of 233 km (145 miles). In that flight I was forced to landout after 4-1/2 hours and the desert sagebrush smashed two holes the leading edge of the wing. We simply taped over the holes and flew it the next day on our record breaking flight.

I will provide a more detailed account of the flight in a later post.

John
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Aug 13, 2016, 07:16 PM
Stealth Plane Works
Anker's Avatar
Amazing, John. Less than a year after you broke the old record set by Joe Wurtz.

Anker
Aug 14, 2016, 08:42 AM
Registered User
Great job John, the Explorer is getting the results lately, although I think most of the accolades should go to the pilot. It'll be fun to hear all the details.
Latest blog entry: Testing the blog page
Aug 14, 2016, 11:08 AM
Registered User
Thermalator's Avatar
John - another fantastic achievement!! Congratulations!
Aug 14, 2016, 05:28 PM
Registered User

Record


I knew you where a stud great job, Sorry I couldn't have been their.
Aug 15, 2016, 08:06 AM
Registered User
gliderguide's Avatar
Excellent work!! Congratulations to you and your team. And thanks for using km!!

Ian
Aug 15, 2016, 07:57 PM
Registered User
Congratulations John,

To you and to your team.
Thats an incredible flight ! Well done

Mike
Aug 16, 2016, 12:13 PM
Registered User
TrekBiker's Avatar
congrats John, that is huge.

Steve
Aug 16, 2016, 03:07 PM
dare to thermal
unbelievable!

/Bernd
Aug 16, 2016, 03:53 PM
Stealth Plane Works
Anker's Avatar
John,

From the course map you posted on FaceBook it looks like you mainly flew in slope/ridge lift. That also appears to be the case from the ground speed, which I doubt could have been achieved if you had been flying from thermal to thermal. Doesn't take from the record at all.

Anker
Aug 16, 2016, 06:32 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anker
John,

From the course map you posted on Facebook it looks like you mainly flew in slope/ridge lift. That also appears to be the case from the ground speed, which I doubt could have been achieved if you had been flying from thermal to thermal. Doesn't take from the record at all.

Anker
Hi Anker

Actually, we flew almost exclusively in thermal lift. There may have been a few odd bits of slope or wave but we never really concentrated on trying to use it. The course map on Facebook is to a very large scale in order to fit the entire flight on one page. The scale is so large the circles when thermaling are not visible.

The speed was fast because for much of the flight we had a 20 -25mph quartering tailwind. See the photo below showing an enlarged section of the flight. The wind was a curse but also a blessing. It made it difficult to work the thermals, especially down low and it tended to cause the glider to rapidly drift away form the road. On the other hand it did allow us to cover a great deal of distance in a short time. To give you an idea of the scale of this section of the map, the straight yellow line indicates a distance of 3/4 of a mile from the road. You can see the thermal circles are not really circles due to the strong wind.

Also below is the google earth file showing the entire flight path. You should be able to zoom onto any section of the flight.
Aug 17, 2016, 09:54 AM
Registered User
TrekBiker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by XC soaringpilot
Hi Anker



The speed was fast because for much of the flight we had a 20 -25mph quartering tailwind.
The wind was a curse but also a blessing. It made it difficult to work the thermals, especially down low and it tended to cause the glider to rapidly drift away form the road.
John, I think you may have sealed up this record (unless Wurts comes out of "XC retirement"?)

20-25 mph wind is tough. Was the wind that high at the start? Really hard to winch launch and find a getaway thermal in wind like that.

I think mastering the ability to ride thermals in wind is the KEY skill in flying XC. Really difficult in winds over 10-15mph for me.

did you use the T3000 GPS to point to the finish? or just use it as a vario?

Steve
Aug 17, 2016, 07:01 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrekBiker
John, I think you may have sealed up this record (unless Wurts comes out of "XC retirement"?)

20-25 mph wind is tough. Was the wind that high at the start? Really hard to winch launch and find a getaway thermal in wind like that.

I think mastering the ability to ride thermals in wind is the KEY skill in flying XC. Really difficult in winds over 10-15mph for me.

did you use the T3000 GPS to point to the finish? or just use it as a vario?

Steve
Steve

If nobody makes an attempt the new record will never be broken, but I guarantee you if there are others that try, it will be broken again. I did 187 miles in 5-1/2 hours. On a good day you can count on 8 hours or more of thermal activity. 250 miles is with-in reach. I think Joe Wurts figured 300 miles is do-able, I guess so, but I think 300 miles would require great conditions over a huge distance and you would have to fly like, well like Joe Wurts!

The wind at the start was 20-25mph. SEEYOU calculated the wind on the first thermal at 23mph. Getting off the field was tough. On the first three launches we had two winch line breaks, and then an aileron servo broke loose from its mounting. I told Dean on the 4th attempt if I don't get away I would call it quits!

John
Aug 17, 2016, 07:22 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrekBiker

did you use the T3000 GPS to point to the finish? or just use it as a vario?

Steve
Steve

We did not input the finish in the T3000. It would do us no good since the road differed so greatly from the course line. For navigation we used a garmin automobile gps. This proved to invaluable. Mike had never driven the course before so I knew navigation would be difficult. Beforehand I input various waypoints along the course at key and confusing locations. Mike and Dean simply entered the next waypoint and this helped us navigate thru the confusing sections.

The T3000 was quite helpful however. Anytime we hit a thermal Rick would read his T3000 and communicate the climbrate to me. With this information I could decide weather or not the thermal was good enough to stop and thermal in. Also, Mike had his T3000 set up on the dashboard. When we were cruising between thermals he would read the ground speed from the T3000 and then match the car speed to this. This saved me from having to constantly ask for speed adjustments. There are so many little things the crew does during the flight that can make or break the flight.

John
Aug 18, 2016, 07:53 AM
Registered User
What autopilot was used?


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools