NAA Announces 2012 Aviation Records

2012 was a phenomenal year for aviation, and the records bear that out in fantastic fashion.

Felix Baumgartner record
Felix Baumgartner record

The National Aeronautic Association released its list of Most Memorable Aviation Records of 2012 on Tuesday, and, not surprisingly, topping out the selections was Felix Baumgartner's 199,431-foot freefall skydive jump in October. The Austrian jumper's world-watched feat smashed the previous record of 80,380 feet set by Yevgeni Nikolayevich Andreyev 50 years earlier.

The NAA also highlighted the University of Maryland’s 1 minute, 5.1 second human-powered rotorcraft hover in August. Colin Gore powered the university’s giant Gamera II rotorcraft using bicycle-like pedals, keeping the bird afloat for a lengthy 15.2 seconds longer than the previous record set earlier in 2012.

When it came to speed, Gulfstream G150 pilots Timothy McClelland and Brian Erickson claimed a spot on the list of notables with their 3-hour, 26-minute non-stop flight from Santa Ana, California, to Hilton Head International Airport in Georgia. The jet averaged 520 knots during the trip, allowing the pair to claim the record for Transcontinental Speed, West to East.

Other record-breaking feats included by the NAA were the straight distance record for hang gliders, which is now 474-miles thanks to Dustin Martin’s Wills Wing T2C flight, as well as the record for speed over a 15 kilometer course, which is now 381 mph after Will Whiteside’s flight in a Yakovlev Yak-3. John Ellias and Dean Gradwell also made the list with their 35-mile model aircraft flight.