2018 Mar.

World Record flight by Keith Essex in the ASG 29 Es

500 km out and return at an average speed of 255 km/hr in New Zealand

US pilot Keith Essex has established a spectacular 500 km 15m class out and return world record in New Zealand with his ASG 29 Es: in conjunction with a flight of 1300 km he achieved an average speed of 255 km/hr over a 500 km section of the course, thereby setting a new FAI world speed record for out and return flights.

Keith has sent us a few impressions and additional information about the flight:

„The weather forecast the day before was predicting great wave over an area that would fit a 500 km out and return flight. In the morning it didn’t look good at the start but improved throughout the day.

New Zealand can be a challenging place for speed records for two reasons.  1, there are many transitions between wave lines due to alignment of the terrain.  2, we fly at lower altitudes because of lower base height of the terrain and airspace restrictions. This means lower true airspeeds.

It was mostly blue and a little weaker in the north and very strong and well-marked in the south. There was a weak, poorly marked 50 km gap over Omarama that slowed things down on the first run; by the second run it was working better.  I did two runs, first one was 242 km/hr, and the second one was much better at 255 km/hr. Despite what sounds like my complaining that conditions weren’t perfect, the flight worked out very well.  I didn’t know what the world record speeds were until I looked it up after the flight, and I was delighted to say the least!  I have a lot of confidence in the ASG 29, and during this flight it really came through for me.“

Keith Essex’ Flug in the OLC