Zapata, TX (PRWEB) July 08, 2012
Dustin Martin, US Hang Gliding Champion, and Jonny Durand, an Australian RedBull athlete, smashed the World Hang Gliding Open Distance record with a powerless flight of over 474 miles from Zapata, Texas, to east of Lubbock.
The previous record had been set almost a decade ago by Austrian world champion, Manfred Ruhmer, who flew 435 miles, also from Zapata, TX
Martin and Durand launched ten minutes apart, around 10 a.m., but flew most of the day together, climbing up for their last glide around 9:00 pm. Using a strong tailwind and thermal lift, the pilots flew downwind over the ground, sometimes approaching speeds of 80mph.
Hang gliders utilize rising currents of air, called thermals, to climb to an elevation that allows them to glide to the next thermal, thus sustaining their ability to stay aloft. Clouds act like gas stations in the sky, enabling pilots to circle up and gain height before turning downwind to cover ground.
"In the history of human endeavors, no one has ever flown farther without a motor, using only the wind, sun and a small wing overhead. This is an historic moment in the history of aviation,” reported David Glover, past USHPA President and World Record Encampment Organizer.
Twenty thousand fans worldwide viewed the final glide of the two pilots live, via Spot Satellite trackers that delineated every move of the pilots over the entire course.
Photos and Video available upon request.
The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote the growth of sport flying in foot-launchable soaring aircraft. USHPA develops, standardizes and administers programs that foster and promote practices for safe flying. USHPA maintains a working relationship with the FAA and other regulatory organizations to insure continued access to airspace. The organization also maintains relationships with public and private entities to promote the procurement and maintenance of flying sites. USHPA is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For more information on hang gliding and paragliding, go to http://www.ushpa.aero.
Contact: Nick Greece