World Record Flight

King of Speed

I now hold a National Speed Record, one that will shortly be certified as a World Speed Record. I know what you’re thinking:


He’s some adrenaline-fueled jet jockey with a hot plane and deep-pocketed sponsors (the lucky bastard). Or you might be thinking William Edward Who?

I guess I should mention that my record speed was a blazing 139.66 miles per hour. Yes, that’s MPH, not Mach. And that I set it in a 1947 Ercoupe. Oh, and, no. I didn’t do this:


U.S. Air Corps’ first rocket-assisted takeoff test, using an Ercoupe, August 12, 1941. That’s the chase plane in the foreground, still on its takeoff roll, with the tail wheel barely off the earth.

Nope. I set the record the old fashioned way: Careful planning, meticulous preparation, and skilled execution. I planned my route and my altitude to take every advantage. I watched the weather like a person obsessed. I readied my plane, waxed her wings, made sure she was in top fighting form. I carefully selected the exact day, hour, and minute of my flight. Then I flew with an accuracy and precision like never in my life. And the fruits of my labor paid off.

And I couldn’t be more proud of myself, my plane, and my luck.

Date Line… May 6, 2015

Email from the National Aeronautic Association’s Director of Contest and Records A. W. Greenfield:

Dear William:

Congratulations!  Your record for “Speed Over a Recognized Course” claimed on April 8, 2015, has been approved as a United States record as follows:

 Albuquerque, NM to Amarillo, TX:  139.66 mph

                Class C, Aeroplanes
                Subclass: C-1b, Group: I (Internal Combustion)
                Ercoupe 415-CD

The record dossier has been forwarded to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in Switzerland for approval as a World record.  

Pretty impressive speed for an Ercoupe, if I say so myself!

Date Line… June 1, 2015

I’m front page news…

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Check it out.

Oh… and in the local paper, too…

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And in the paper from the next-nearest town…

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And in Coupe Capers…

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In Fly New Mexico! the newsletter of my state’s Aviation Division…

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And in Smart Brief…

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And in Flying Magazine…

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Oh, and somewhere along the way, my World Record became official…

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2 thoughts on “World Record Flight

  1. Congrats! I just read your article in the digital “Flying Magazine” and was smiling the whole way through! The Ercoupe has always been one of my favorite aircraft since I first saw one at the Lakeland Florida airport at one of the fly-ins that predate “Sun-N-Fun” back in the early 1970s. Congrats again on the achievement!


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