Ten years ago Toomas Mardna set a world record for aeromodelling that still stands today: a 111km out-and-return flight with a piston-motor seaplane, flying along the banks of Lake Maardu in Estonia.
If you want to bag a distance world record in aeromodelling it can help if you get up early, when the wind is calm and the sky is clear.
For Toomas Mardna exactly ten years ago on Friday 17 June 2006, 'early' meant a pre-dawn start. Together with co-pilot Juri Laidna the pair were aiming to set a world record out-and-return flight with a model Mardna had designed and built himself.
Mardna was well-known in Estonia and the international aeromodelling scene. A member of the Estonian Aerosports Federation his FAI Sporting Licence number was EST0002 – he was in at the very beginning.
Let us look back 45 years on the 6 September 1970 and recall an FAI World Record in Gain in Altitude for Aeromodelling and Spacemodelling (Class F) that has not been broken since. On that day, the American Maynard Luther Hill set the record in Gain in Altitude for Radio Control Flight Aeroplane, with a record altitude of 8.205m (26.920 feet). Hill’s “Catbird” launched at 5:24pm, when the sun was low in the sky and a remarkable improvement in visibility, from the former Naval Weapons Laboratory Airfield, Dahlgren, Virginia in the United States.