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British Duration Record Flight 
Ivinghoe Beacon 21st July 2001

Congratulations to Nick Shaw for exceeding the current British F3 Glider Duration record. 

Nick (seen right) was flying his modified Eliminator 134. The flight lasted 15 hrs 15 min 22 and is subject to ratification as a new UK record.

The flight was made on the West face of Ivinghoe Beacon. Nick  was ably assisted by Michèle and co-pilots Dave and Martin. Also present were John French (BMFA records officer) and two official BMFA observers. 

Power, Lights, Action

Two LiMnO2 13000 mAh cells were used to power Rx, servos and wing tip LEDs. These were donated by SAFT.  Nominal voltage is 3v per cell - more than twice that of NiCd/NiMH. At an average 50 mA, these cells will last for 260 hours!.

The Flight

Nick launched his model at approximately 8.30 am. Wind conditions were good for much of the day, a steady Force 3/4 breeze from WSW - W. He flew through the day, often in the company of other models as regular club flying was not suspended.

At night fall, the lights on the model were switched on and the first real test began. By 11.30 pm, Nick had exceeded the UK record of 15 hours. 

The model used wing tip LED's (just visible on RH tip). An electroluminescent lighting system was also used, powered by three PP3 batteries.

Sadly shortly after this a faulty battery switching system caused a premature end to the flight, thus preventing an assault on the World Record (which still stands at ~33 hours). Nevertheless it was a great achievement, and a very serious attempt which deserved to succeed.


The event developed its own momentum, and I think all who were present really enjoyed the occasion! Let's hope the flight is ratified as a record, and that Nick will be back again to claim the main prize.


Michèle provided moral as well as logistical support!

Tent City. John French (left), Dave Brown (standing) and Nick Shaw.  John French is BMFA's records officer. Dave Brown made sure the Tx batteries were topped up with juice.

Tx used external battery for easy switching between packs. The Internal battery is used as backup while packs switched.

Two official observers needed to be present at all times. Here a typically relaxed Nick is seen chatting with the BMFA's Martin Dilly.

Clouds may look fierce, but wind was steady Force 3/4 WSW.

The scene when I left just before nightfall. Little Pierre braved sickness to be present.

All pages copyright © M. Shellim except where noted. Pages may not be copied without express permission (except for private personal use only).