25 July 2010

World record Flugtag distance

90,000 people gathered in St. Paul this week for a Flugtag during which a new world record was set for longest distance achieved.
Dozens of the 37 teams crashed into the Mississippi just a few feet from the launching platform, and none came close to the flight made by Williams' team.

Then again, not everyone was trying to set a world record. One after another, crafts built like hamburgers, Zambonis and baseball bats all crashed into the river. The crowd roared with approval for their efforts.

"We had good control of the aircraft," pilot Rachel Norman said. "We had an elevator that moved, and so when I pulled the stick back, we could actually control where the nose was at instead of just pitching the nose down and trying to shift our weight."

The craft, designed by a team of aeronautical engineers, began its flight perched on top of a large metal tower that the team pushed off the platform to give it extra altitude. Norman herself gave the team an advantage over the competition: She's a licensed pilot.
The StarTribune story has a two-minute video showing multiple crashes.  The video embedded above shows only the record flight.

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