The Perlan DG 1001M achieves new US-Speed Record

Jim Payne and Dennis Tito accomplish another Wave-Mission

Jim Payne and Dennis Tito accomplish another Wave-Mission

Dennis and Jim after a wave day in Argentina (by Jackie Payne)

Dennis and Jim after a wave day in Argentina (by Jackie Payne)

Last night Jackie Payne sent out a short note via e-mail from California around the world: “If all paperwork goes ok, looks like 135 kph for a 521 km triangle. That should beat two US national multi-place triangle speed records.” This morning my SeeYou states “all reached turn points rounded ok, task completed” and documents 134.45 km/h during 521.8 kilometers.

Early in the morning of Earth Day (April 22nd), Jim Payne and Dennis Tito launched for another record mission. Flying in the famous Sierra Wave their goal was to beat the existing 500 km triangle speed record with their “unflapped” two-seater. After launching at Rosamond Skypark, the DG 1001M first headed up North in wave to reach the first turn point near Bishop, CA. To get to the second turn point they first turned around to later leave the primary wave, heading eastwards into the direction of Death Valley National Park. To close the triangle they flew back to Rosamond Skypark.

the triangle task on SeeYou

the triangle task on SeeYou

But instead of landing there Jim turned the glider’s nose back up northwards: “We plan for an easy afternoon on Earth Day!“ After only four hours of soaring there was enough lift left to do it again…

Jackie Payne who followed their efforts from her desk had a quick satellite phone conference with her husband who told her about clouds to contend with on first turn point west of Bishop. Right after rounding it he and his Perlan-Partner Dennis Tito lost 9000 feet in only ten minutes. After reaching the second turn point somewhere in the middle of nowhere, the crew had 80 kts headwinds to overcome... but finally clouds around the finish point to duck under. Otherwise, Jim said, they could have been faster.

Dennis Tito and Jim Payne posing for Jackie's camera

Dennis Tito and Jim Payne posing for Jackie's camera

While Jim and Dennis enjoyed the rest of their day up high, Jackie decided to spread the word. Shortly before switching off the lights in Europe, I received her e-mail note and asked  for a picture of the day. Jackie’s answer was simple: “I'm packing for Mexico right now. The pilots are headed for near the border in El Centro, CA. Been there several times before. They should land around 7 pm local.”

Sounds like another long retrieve-drive… Well, have a safe drive and a good night at "your" hotel next to El Centro airport! After getting up this morning I enjoyed a quick look into OLC’s daily scores and found Jim and Dennis had completed another 1,570.8 km flight. The yoyo had helped to rise the total speed to 159.4 km/h during almost ten hours of flight. Feel free to have a look into the flight and read Jim's OLC comment. Congratulations!

Dennis and Jim thumbnail
Dennis and Jim after a wave day in Argentina (by Jackie Payne) thumbnail
the triangle task on SeeYou thumbnail
after the flight thumbnail
early launch... thumbnail
Jim named this one

Dennis and Jim

Dennis and Jim after a wave day in Argentina (by Jackie Payne)

the triangle task on SeeYou

after the flight

early launch...

Jim named this one

Dennis and Jim

Dennis and Jim after a wave day in Argentina (by Jackie Payne)

the triangle task on SeeYou

after the flight

early launch...

"the good stuff", looking north

Jim named this one "The Mighty Sierra"

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Elke Fuglsang-Petersen

Elke Fuglsang-Petersen started soaring after she finished her school and college education and found herself locked into a small office for the next 45 years. In German soaring clubs she met a lot of new friends, enjoyed a great way to get out, could see things from a different angle, and gained a better overview.

Meanwhile, she has traveled a bit, flown a lot, and lived in the US.She is happy to now know glider pilots from the US too and says, “they are as amiable as everywhere on the world.” She feels fortunate to have found a temporary soaring home in Boulder, surely one of the best and most scenic places to fly on Earth!

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