National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Presents Its Annual List
As the official record keeper for United States aviation, The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) tracks dozens of world and national record attempts. New U.S. records are certified and those qualifying as world records are then ratified with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). At the end of each year, under the direction of the Contest and Records Department, records certified for that year are reviewed and a list of the "most memorable" is created.
NAA has just released its latest selection. These amazing records and record setters will be honored at NAA's Spring Awards Ceremony and Luncheon which will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA on March 12, 2013.
Here is the list for 2012:
Vertical Distance of Freefall: 119,431 feet.
After ascending in a balloon for more than 2-1/2 hours, Felix Baumgartner leaped from the Red Bull capsule at 127,852 feet above Roswell, New Mexico. Over the next 4 minutes, 20 seconds, he reached a top speed of 843 mph and fell 119,431 feet before deploying his parachute. His jump on October 14 beat the previous record of 80,380 feet set in 1962.
Distance Goal and Return: 35 miles (Record for model aircraft, radio-controlled glider)
After using a winch to launch their nearly identical 13-foot wingspan, kit-built MXC model gliders, John Ellias and Dean Gradwell jumped into waiting cars where they would fly their aircraft by remote control to a pre-determined point more than 17 miles away. After reaching the point, they reversed course and flew back to land in the same spot where they took off, covering a total distance of 35 miles. Their simultaneous flights from California City, California, on September 28, beat the previous record of 18 miles set in 2005.
Speed Over a 15 Kilometer Course: 381 mph (Record for airplanes,piston engine, weighing 3,858 < 6,614 lbs)
Making two passes along a straight stretch of highway over Interstate 505, west of Sacramento, California, Will Whiteside flew an average speed of 381 mph in his Russian Yakovlev Yak-3. His flight from Yolo County Airport on April 23 beat the previous record of 290 mph set in 1987.
Transcontinental Speed, West to East: 599 mph (Record for airplanes,jet engine, weighing 19,842 < 26,455 lbs)
Departing Santa Ana airport in California on January 22, Gulfstream G150 pilots Timothy McClelland and Brian Erickson flew non-stop to the Hilton Head International airport in Georgia. The 3-hour, 26-minute flight averaged 599 mph along the route, establishing a record for Transcontinental Speed, West to East.
Duration: 1 minute 5.1 seconds (Record for human-powered rotorcraft)
With lessons learned from the previous year's flights and a much lighter airframe, Colin Gore pedaled the University of Maryland's "Gamera II" aloft for 1 minute, 5.1 seconds. The flight took place indoors at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Landover, Maryland on August 28, beating the previous record of 49.9 seconds set earlier in the year.
Straight Distance: 474 miles (Record for hang gliders, rigid wing, weight-shift)
Launching on the 3rd of July from Zapata, Texas, Dustin Martin flew his Wills Wing T2C hang glider to the north over the Edwards Plateau, landing some 11 hours later near Lubbock. His 474-mile flight broke the previous record of 435 miles set in 2001.
(Felix Baungartner image provided by Red Bull, Gamera II Image provided by UMD)