Aerobatic pilot and record setter Spencer Suderman has done it again... after a number of attempts to beat his own 2014 spin record of 81 inverted spins, he obliterated the former record by completing an unofficial (as yet... it takes weeks for record certification) 98 inverted autorotations in a Dan Rihn modified Pitts S-1X after starting the sequence nearly five miles high.
Starting over the Yuma International Airport, Suderman climbed to 24,600 feet in the normally aspirated Pitts before rolling inverted and starting the sequence that resulted in nearly 100 inverted flat spins, and closing out a two year series of attempts to best the last record.
The aircraft used for this attempt is an experimental variant of the legendary Pitts Special aerobatic biplane. The plane, designated the Sunbird S-1X, is the only one of its kind featuring an oversized engine and propeller.
Numerous aviation manufacturers have contributed innovative technology and expertise to enable this aircraft to reach the altitude and performance needed to ensure success.
They are: Electroair Electronic Ignition Systems, Sandia Aerospace, Earthx Motorsports, Micro AeroDynamics, and Aerox aviation oxygen systems. Spencer currently holds an FAA unrestricted Statement of Aerobatic Competency (SAC) card allowing him to perform solo and formation aerobatics down to surface level. Flying in upwards of a half dozen air shows each year across the southwestern U.S., Spencer opens each air show performance with his signature maneuver; a short demonstration of the inverted flat spin.