Loading Icon Black


July 12, 2016

Good conditions on the horizon are always the beginning of a new mission for our R&D team. On Saturday July 9th, Honorin, Luc and friends saw the chance to get an official FAI Triangle world record, and were ready to charge. Honorin describes what followed:

“The forecast was good but a bit windy in the morning. We took off [flying the Enzo 2] at 9h 36 from Col Agnel in the Cottian Alps, with a big FAI triangle in mind. The view was amazing, small cumulus clouds forming with a 3500m base, big vertical walls, a lot of marmots and chamois and in the background we could see, the highest mountain in the area, Monte Viso (3841 m).
We had to fly very fast to achieve the 300 km triangle and with these weather conditions it seemed possible!
We flew together, along the high mountain range, for around 70 km before we split and took different lines. At the first south-west turnpoint, I turned further than the rest of the group but my time was still ok. The shaded terrain made the way to the second turnpoint not so easy.We crossed Serre Ponçon Lake before arriving to, a beautiful natural reserve and the best place to be in summer, Massif de Ecrins.
At this point the north wind had stopped and the vision of a long FAI triangle felt closer. On my way back and reunited with Luc and friends hitting the 280 km mark, but I kept flying further aiming for the 300km flight. During this part of the flight I ran into, an unexpected and low, 2600m cloudbase.
At “Notre Dame de la Salette” I found myself flying above a grassy and stable area with almost zero activity until I reached the rocky side of the slope where a 4m/s was waiting for me! I came back straight to the biggest mountain in the take off vicinity, finding a nice breeze and good thermals this late during the day. On the Italian side I could see clouds as low as 1600m but on my French side I had reached 3700 m in my last thermal, unbelievable!
I flew 3 km passing the take off and came back to finish my flight under 400m cylinder to hit a new 306 km Free FAI Triangle Record! I made it! I landed to meet with the boys that had landed an hour earlier.
Now we had a new excuse to celebrate, our next turn point: a beer to celebrate another splendid flight! After 11hours and 1minute in the air, that night, I slept like a baby”

For Honorin’s track log click here

It is worth noting that Luc’s flight was slightly shorter than Honorin’s putting him in 2nd place behind Honorin in the French XC League. Honorin is currently leading the XContest with just six flights.
Also, Thomas Walder of Austria flew a 325km triangle with his Enzo in 2014, but did not officially close the circuit so missed the FAI record.

Congrats to Hono and Luc for what must have been an incredible journey through the Southern Alps!