NAA's Most Memorable Aviation Records of 2003
A radio-controlled model plane, the intrepid Flyin' Tiger and the ubiquitous Steve Fossett were among the most memorable aviation record-setters of 2003, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) said on Thursday. The model airplane TAM-5 became the first aircraft of its type to cross the Atlantic Ocean, traveling 1,882 miles from Newfoundland to Ireland in under 39 hours. Bruce Bohannon pushed his homebuilt Flyin' Tiger to 47,067 feet for a piston-engine altitude record in Texas. Fossett zoomed coast-to-coast in a Citation X in under three hours, averaging 726 mph, then made the same trip the next day in a turboprop Piaggio Avanti, setting another record at 546 mph. Last year being the Centennial of the Wright brothers' first flight (remember?) it was also a banner year for those folks who work to set new aviation records. One of the more unusual records was set by Randolph Pentel and Mark Anderson, who flew around the border of the continental U.S. on Dec. 16 and 17. The pair took off in a Cessna Citation Ultra from International Falls, Minn., and returned 45 hours and 27 minutes later. All of these record-setters and many others will gather at the NAA's Spring Awards Reception and Ceremony, to be held April 26 in Washington, D.C.