Monday, April 7, 2014

New World-Record for inverted flat spins…at 81!

Set by California air show pilot Spencer Suderman

El Centro, California – April 2, 2014 – Spencer Suderman, a California-based aerobatic and air show pilot set a world record on March 13 for inverted flat spins, at 81 rotations!

Imagine flying in a small 2-seat aircraft, turning it upside-down, belly up, ceasing forward momentum allowing it to fall from the sky at over 100 miles per hour, then spinning madly like a corkscrew 81 times during the 21,000 foot, 3-minute descent toward the ground.

Suderman and his crew were ecstatic. “I couldn’t be happier,” he announced after landing. “This is so gratifying both personally and professionally.  My first attempt was far from the record and my second attempt was such a near miss that I knew the plane could do it and all I had to do is not get in its way!”

Officially, Suderman completed 81.75 successive rotations starting at 23,000 feet and recovering at 2,000 feet. The documentation has been submitted to The Guinness Book of World Records, who will reply soon with their acceptance of the record into their book.

This was Suderman’s third attempt at breaking the previous record of 78 turns set in 1999. In 2011, he spun 64 times and a few months ago in December 2013 he spun 77 times. With minor modifications to both his aircraft and piloting, multiple sessions of testing and practicing, plus a determination stronger than ever, his March 13 attempt at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro was a resounding success.

And yet, he may not be done. “I’ve got some new modifications up my sleeve that should get me closer to  100+ turns and I’m itching to try them out….IF someone else comes along and manages to break my record,” Suderman added.

About Spencer Suderman
Originally from New York State, Suderman moved to California during high school and embraced sailing, scuba diving and flying. His introduction to aerobatics came in 2000 during an upset training/spin training program and he fell in love with it. In 2002, he started entering aerobatic contests and in 2003, he bought his Pitts Special, a biplane with a strong reputation for aerobatic success, in order to have a better aircraft for future contests. Wanting to fly even more, Suderman turned his competitive aerobatic manoeuvres into an air show act and hasn’t looked back since his first show in 2006. Suderman now spends many of his summer weekends performing at air shows across the western U.S. but  he keeps his ‘day job’ in the information technology department of a major entertainment company, and is working towards an MBA.

About Electroair Ignition
Michigan-based Electroair produces the electronic ignition system that was a critical success factor in Suderman’s world record success. Electroair Ignition is the first viable mass market electronic ignition for general aviation aircraft with FAA certification for most engines and airframes. What this means, is that it brings technology to general aviation that has only been found in cars since the early 1980's. Having always made vehicle engines run smoother, produce more horsepower and burn less fuel, it now allows airplanes to fly higher and travel farther on a tank of gas.

Suderman’s Pitts Special S-2B aircraft was one of Electroair’s flight test aircraft. Together, they wanted to push the limits of the ignition system, and thought of no better way to accomplish that, than to surpass the current record for inverted flat spins.


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