The 2010 on again off again Unlimited Challenge Air Race at Witbank (eMalahleni) was given the green light and it happened as well as expected. Sadly a large number of competitors pulled out literally on Friday night and Saturday morning due mainly to the doubtful weather and the changing of dates.
However, The Witbank hospitality was of its normal high standard and the quality of competitor was outstanding. Some of the highlights were Richard Maier in his deadstick racing King Air, the pocket rockets, the diesel 182 and, of course Ron Wheeldon in the amazing Hunter. Ron and co-pilot Gary Hughes set a new World Record (provisional) at a massive 908km/h. The next record for the Hunter to beat is the 1000km closed circuit record which was set in 1965 at 859 km/h.
Moments and Milestones: A Day at the Races
By John Miller
UCAR 2009: Menno Parsons and Gavin Branson
The words “recreational flying” are rarely, if ever, found in the same sentence with “Boeing 737,” but while two South African aviation enthusiasts, Gavin Branson and Menno Parsons, were having a few beers last August, the combination became strangely plausible.
Branson is the CEO of a charter company, AirQuarius, which owns several Fokker F28 and Boeing 737 passenger jets. Parsons, an electrical engineer, owns a couple of airplanes, including an Aero L-29 Delfin.
Parsons likes to compete in air races, so he was interested to hear that the Rustenburg Flying Club (a small group about 90 minutes from Johannesburg) was organizing a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale-compliant sub-competition, to be held in August 2009. The organizers opened the event to jet aircraft, hoping to attract warbirds. Parsons contemplated entering his L-29: “I thought that I might have a chance of winning if I entered my jet. But on our second or third beer, I suggested to Gavin we enter one of his Boeings. Before I knew it, I heard myself say: ‘I’ll hire the Boeing for the day.’ ”
Article by Chris van Hoof
This article is not about setting a record, but rather about the satisfaction of testing the actual service ceiling of my particular Amateur Built Aircraft a Cozy Mark IV ZU-CZZ.
Some data to get you going:
The current World Record for a Canard Type aircraft was set by Jim Price at 35,027′ and is held in the C1a class. For my Cozy, due to its weight, C1b: 500 Kg < 1000 Kg. See: SAPFA and FAI websites for the various weight categories.
How to go about this sort of event?
Chris Booysen and Dave StockEnglish Electric Lightning
Very few South African Flying Records had been ratified by an official body. There are a large number of anecdotal records that are bandied about without any of them have been independently verified. After encouragement from the FAI, SAPFA took on the task of maintaining the documentation relating to speed and altitude records for Class C aircraft.
The record attempts were kicked off at the Overberg Airshow when Dave Stock set the first South African record to be monitored and recorded by SAPFA.
Dave Stock, piloting the Thunder City English Electric Lightning T5 – ZU-BEX, reached 6000m in 70 seconds. The GPS logger placed in the aircraft by SAPFA representatives failed as it was unable to cope with the massive acceleration. The backup manual timing system had to be used.