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New Microlight World Record Claims Filed by U.S. Pilots

World record team members
World record team members (left to right) Abid Farooqui, Matt Liknaitzky, Larry Mednick, and Steve Bensinger

Three new speed records have been set at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport (KZPH) in the two-seat trike class. If the new microlight record attempts are ratified, the number of world microlight records held by the United States will more than double. Larry Mednick, Abid Farooqui, and Matt Liknaitzky have filed their claims with the National Aeronautical Association (NAA) for final ratification via Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) in Switzerland. The new speed records were set using a Revo 912ULS trike by Evolution Trikes.

Larry Mednick and Abid Farooqui began the process of attempting a world speed record several months ago. The actual flights go quickly, but the application for the sanction, red tape, and the need for adherence to meticulous standards of documentation can be challenging. Their efforts got a boost when MGL Avionics distributor Matt Liknaitzky joined their team, bringing with him an LX Navigation Colibri flight data recorder. Only certain models of data recorders (or loggers as they’re sometimes called) are approved for documentation of world microlight speed records. The role of official NAA-recognized observer was filled by U.S. national microlight champion Steve Bensinger.

The trike was a standard factory-built special light-sport aircraft Revo with a 100-hp Rotax and a Reflex 11 strut-braced wing. There were no modifications to the unit except that the wing was tuned for high speed by increasing the tension on the haul-back mechanism. The average top speed on the straight 15- to 25-kilometer course was 102.5 mph. Abid said the attempt unfortunately coincided with an extremely hot spell for September in Florida. In addition some record runs were flown at considerable altitude to avoid turbulence. The increased density altitude limited engine and propeller performance. They hope to make more speed runs in December under better conditions and believe they could add another 8 to 10 mph to the record. An in-flight video was taken during one of the speed runs.
 
These record attempts were as follows:

Claim number: 16107
Sub-class: RWL2T (Microlights – weight-shift control; landplane; flown with two persons; thermal engine)
Type of record: Speed over a straight 15/25 kilometer course
Course/location: Zephyrhills, Florida (United States)
Performance: 165 kilometers/hour
Pilot: Larry Mednick (United States)
Copilot: Abid Farooqui (United States)
Date: September 26, 2010
Current record: 161.2 kilometers/hour (March 28, 2010 – David Beolet [France] in a DTAMagic (26ACD), Rotax 912 UL)

Claim number: 16108
Sub-class: RWL2T (Microlights – weight-shift control; landplane; flown with two persons; thermal engine)
Type of record: Speed over a closed circuit of 100 kilometers without landing
Course/location: Zephyrhills, Florida (United States)
Performance: 155 kilometers/hour
Pilot: Matthew Liknaitzky (United States)
Copilot: Abid Farooqui (United States)
Date: September 25, 2010
Current record: 129.11 kilometers/hour (April 26, 1998 – Jozsef Szurma and Vince Somogyi [Hungary] in an ESO 13 (15-25))

Claim number: 16109
Sub-class: RWL2T (Microlights – weight-shift control; landplane; flown with two persons; thermal engine)
Type of record: Speed over a closed circuit of 50 kilometers without landing
Course/location: Zephyrhills, Florida (United States)
Performance: 150 kilometers/hour
Pilot: Abid Farooqui (United States)
Copilot: Matthew Liknaitzky (United States)
Date: September 25, 2010
Current record: 146.7 kilometers/hour (August 21, 2006 – Richard Meredith-Hardy [United Kingdom] in a P&M Quik GT 450 [G-CEBM], Rotax 912 UL)
 
Official FAI microlight world records and recent record claims pending ratification can be viewed here.

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