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Minute by Minute Progress

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With the planned flight now underway, we here at the update center can't wait to hear how our intrepid group of adventurers progress in their goal to capture those records! And, thanks to the power of technology, we won't have to. Expect to get regular updates on the progress of the flight, which we here at news central will pass on to you.  Refresh often!

10/31/2006 09:59 PM PST -- Just heard from the adventuring crew who say that they are airborne, off on the first leg of their journey. They will be flying from Hayward Executive Airport (KHWD) to San Diego's Gillespie Airport (KSEE). Departure was a little later than planned, thanks to some last-minute issues with the technology that will be used to record the record setting (they knocked over a camera, it didn't work any longer, so they had to get a replacement) but now the adventure begins. Weather looks good and all aboard were positive about the upcoming flight. As Pilot Alan Cirino said, "We're ready to start our Odyssey."

10/31/2006 11:23 PM PST -- The intrepid crew has landed at Gillespie and are now refueling the aircraft and preparing to really get moving on the flight. They estimate a 2 AM PST for their next departure with weather still projected fine for the record setting portions of the flight. They did express some concern that folks might not fully understand the goals of this flight, so asked that we direct folks to this post.

11/01/2006 01:45 AM PST -- Sending a quick email from the ground, pilot Alan Cirino shares a jet stream airchart showing how the wind should be helping them along. Auspicious weather indeed. Check this out:


11/01/06 03:40 AM PST -- The flight, which has received the callsign, FASTFLIGHT1 is 1 hour into the journey and looks to be smashing the record. They are speeding along at 409 knots, which should help them arrive much sooner than expected. For this crew, it's true that time flies when you're having fun.

11/01/06 05:52 AM PST -- Pilot Alan, contacting us via the fantastic air to ground communication system reports that they are over 43,000 feet over Tyler Texas, with about an hour and ten minutes left to go. The jetstream tailwind is giving them such a boost that in just the short time of communication, they report two speeds: first Alan tells us that they are moving along at 415 knots, but before the communication is finished, Flight Commander Matt Brooks says in the background that the aircraft is now recording just over 443 knots. We then heard from NAA Observer Kris who tells us about the "exceptional aircraft" and "crackerjack pilots." He requests that I mention that all records that we might report during the course of this play-by-play are unofficial until the data and the observer's notes have been reviewed and the records confirmed by the NAA and the FAI. Duly noted.

11/01/06 08:17 AM PST -- Touchdown in Florida and the first leg of the flight complete, and it looks like our capable crew has made five records so far (pending review and approval of the record-keepers at the NAA and the FAI, natch) Speaking with Observer Kris, the Ardenflight crew will be submitting for the following records :

  • The distance without landing record (app 1803,8 nautical miles)
  • Speed over a recognized course (approximate average of  413 knots) (between San Diego and Jacksonville). (World and national record, pending review)
  • US Transcontinental record (approximate average speed of 413 knots) (World and national record, pending review)
That's a total of five records with one flight, and they look to take on another slew of records later on today! Great job.

11/01/06 12:52 PM PST -- The Ardenbrook fellows are currently in Sheltair Aviation Services in Jacksonville, Florida. Hard working and enthusiastic Sheltair Customer Service Representative Cari Rennie explained that the two year old facility, managed by Jonathan Buff, feuled the pilots with Starbucks Coffee and Otis Spunkmeyer cookies and has already spoken to local television about coverage for our fabulous flyboys. For their part, our intrepid pilots expressed their thanks to Ms. Rennie for her help and support and are now finishing their preparations for taking off again. After having landed this morning, they rested and fed and prepared the flight plan for the thousand kilometer speed record attempt and will be initiating that in just a few hours. From there, they will be moving on to Atlanta, GA for refueling, and finally to Lincoln, Nebraska for the final portion of this flight, the climb record attempts. All three men sound in high spirits and very confident moving forward.

11/02/06 07:35 AM PST -- The gallant crew yesterday pointed their Cessna towards Washington DC and did the 1000 Kilometer run. That result is still being calculated and is still up in the air, so to speak. They had been planning to stop at Atlanta, Georgia to refuel, but weather moved them around some, so they instead made a refuel stop in Nashville before traveling on to their record-setting home point of Lincoln, Nebraska. The crew reports that they woke this morning to find that the weather was as crisp and cold as they could wish and the plane was properly hangared and warm. They brought her out, removed anything from the cabin that wasn't bolted down (including the observer Kris! -- this time, a video camera would have to observe in his stead) and performed a climb record attempt. To their disappointment (lessened by the five, maybe six records they had already set during the flight) they were not able to beat the record, previously set by a Lear jet. They landed, and now comes the 2000 Kilometer closed course record run. This run will be from Lincoln and a point south of Billings Montana and back. EXTRA! -- Kris (the NAA observer) was able to announce just before the Ardenflight crew signed off that they had been able to set a new record for the 1000 Kilometer run. Kris calculated an average flight speed of 319.9 knots on the 1000 Kilometer course, setting a new record (pending review)!

11/01/06 11:45 AM PST -- The crew just alerted us to the fact that now, halfway through the 2000 Kilometer run, they've just turned around a fixed radio point called "Grey Bull" in Montana, and things are going swimmingly. The first leg (prior to turning around Grey Bull) took about 1 hour fifty minutes with an average speed of about 362 knots. This return portion should be much faster than the first leg (they've got an 18 knot tailwind!). So far they're averaging about 435 knots! Following this report, we had an extended discussion with the NAA observer, Kris, who gave us a quick run down of the Records that will be submitted:

On All Hallows Eve, the Ardenflight Crew Managed the following:
  • World Record for Distance Without Landing (also a US National Record)
  • World Record for Speed Over a Recognized course (also a US National Record)
  • A US National Record for Speed US West to East (wherein they beat previously established Record by about 10%)

The morning of November 1st, Ardenflight clocked the following Record:
  • World Record for Speed Over a 1000 Kilometer Closed Course (also a US National Record) (with an average speed of 319 knots)
Kris went on to relate how impressed he was with the preparation of the Ardenflight crew, the efficiency of their planning, their skill in execution, and the quality of the plane. He explained that the sheer magnitude and number of records being set made this flight an extremely impressive achievement. Even he sounded a bit winded saying, "This has been a very demanding pace."

11/01/06 03:23 PM PST -- Triumphant and successful, the Ardenflight crew is on their way home. They just contacted us here to give a final report that on the 2000 K Closed Course (another Tentative Record!) they averaged an airspeed of 349kts! We look forward to welcoming the conquering heroes back here in the Golden State shortly. Great job, guys!