28th March ’10. I’m in a 777 somewhere above the Pacific, heading for the Mojhave desert at 1100km/hr to go buggying for a week (NABX 20th anniversary celebration of the development of the modern kite buggy).
Yes, 1100km/hr; because there’s a tailwind of more than 300km/hr at this moment.
If only this wind would stay with me to Ivanpah- then we’d be able to set a new buggy speed record with ease-and a little bit of terror I expect.
And this identifies the problem with kite buggy speed records; it’s all about waiting around in some big flat open space for stupidly high winds then dragging off downwind with the smallest kite in the set.
A drogue or windsock would serve as well.
A better test of buggy, kite and pilot would be the buggy speed/wind speed ratio- but wind speed and direction are too variable for this to be able to be measured reliably enough for fair comparisons.