H/T: New Atlas
The world’s fastest remote-controlled airplane does not have a jet engine or one at all, and that’s because it makes use of a technique called dynamic soaring. Simply put, glider pilots perform dynamic soaring using the leeward side of ground features, and if the ridge faces the wind, and has a steep back side, it can cause flow separation off the top of the hill, causing a layer of fast air moving over the top of a volume of stagnant or reverse-flow air behind the hill. Read more to see the record-setting run and for additional information.
Previously, the record was 545 mph, but on January 19, 2021 at Parker Mountain in California, a 548 mph run shattered that. The ultra strong gliders that take part on these record setting runs repeatedly cross the shear layer by flying in a circular path, penetrating a fast-moving headwind after flying up the back side, turning to fly with the wind, diving down through the shear layer into the stagnant air, and turning again to fly back up the back side of the hill.
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