Gyroplane Pilot Claims New Distance Record

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Gyroplane pilot Paul Salmon's flight this week from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to Longview, Texas, and back will win a new distance record for his aircraft class. Salmon completed the closed-circuit flight Thursday in his Magni M22 Voyager, making 770 nautical miles in 10 hours and 37 minutes nonstop. The National Aeronautic Association, the sanctioning body for U.S. achievements, will make it official and forward the time to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale to set the record for gyroplanes in the 500-1000 kilogram takeoff weight range (1102-2204 pounds). The previous record of 550 nautical miles has been held since 2006 by Andy Keech. In 2015, Salmon broke the transcontinental record for his three-day Magni flight from California to Florida.

For Thursday's flight, Salmon departed with 72.9 gallons of fuel, most of which sat in extra fuel bladders in the rear seat of the Magni, according to Greg Gremminger of Magni USA. He flew at airspeeds of 85 to 89 mph for most of the flight with some headwinds and landed back at Cape Girardeau with about 10 gallons remaining. He circled around the East Texas Regional control tower to verify his presence before turning back for Missouri. AVweb learned from Gremminger that Salmon is already planning his next record attempt in the Magni for this summer, the longest nonstop gyroplane flight. His route will be from Beaumont, Texas, to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. For that trip, he'll install larger wings to carry about 24 gallons of additional fuel, which will add about 4 hours of endurance. "This is not significant extra weight for this machine, and Paul expects the extra lift from the wings to partially compensate for the extra weight at cruise speed," Gremminger said.

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