AOPA’s Timeless Tri-Pacer Sweepstakes plane has a set a new world speed record for Class C-1.b aircraft (piston-engine landplane, 1,102 to 2,204 pounds gross takeoff weight) from Phoenix, Arizona, to Palm Springs, California.
The world record “dash” was sanctioned by the National Aeronautic Association. AOPA’s refurbished, classic aircraft covered the 237.8-nm course in two hours, 35 minutes at an average speed of 91 knots (104.7 miles per hour). The aircraft departed from Chandler Municipal Airport (CHD), just south of the Phoenix metro area, and landed at Palm Springs Regional Airport (PSP) October 15 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
“Forecasts were for heavy winds,” said Timeless Tri-Pacer “co-captain” and AOPA Pilot editor Al Marsh. “But we were confident in pursuing ‘Fastest Tri-Pacer in the West’ honors for these parts since the previous (non-existent) record for the route was 0 knots!” Marsh shared piloting duties with AOPA Publications graphic artist Dave Weigelt.
The record-attempt route was the last leg of a journey from AOPA’s Frederick, Maryland, headquarters to the AOPA Expo ’98 convention and trade show in Palm Springs October 23-25. All but 15 minutes of the 25-hour flight was flown VFR.
The “record-setting” AOPA Timeless Tri-Pacer will be on display at AOPA Expo ’98 right outside the Palm Springs Convention Center along with some 70 other display aircraft right on site.
The restored classic, affordable four-place family flyer will be awarded next January after this year’s AOPA sweepstakes closes December 31, 1998. Anyone who joins AOPA or renews AOPA membership this calendar year is automatically entered to win.
The winner of the AOPA Timeless Tri-Pacer will also receive $10,000 cash to help pay for taxes, fuel, maintenance, or any other expense. The total prize package also includes headsets, a handheld GPS nav/com, and one year’s membership in the Short Wing Piper Club.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association represents more than 340,000 pilots who own or fly three quarters of the nation’s 187,000 general aviation aircraft. More than half the nation’s pilots are AOPA members.
October 16, 1998