Jon Sharp hopes to
break a new speed record at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in his
Nemesis NXT. The current 3 km record in the C1-b category is 331
mph. Photo by Barbara A. Schmitz
this week EAA member Jon Sharp is hoping for temperatures hovering
around 65 degrees, a high, thin layer of clouds, and no winds.
just want to be comfortable as he walks around EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
2008. Sharp knows those things will help him break a speed record.
aims to break the current 3 km record of 331 mph in the C1-b category
with his Nemesis NXT. He will race sometime between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30
p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, and he must make four passes through the
timing gate while staying within the altitude limits set by the
Federation Aeronautique Internationale, the worldwide keeper of
the record, set in 1989 by Richard Gritter in a Venture aircraft, Sharp
must exceed the current record by a minimum of 1 percent, or at least
334.31 mph, while on the 3 km course.
first be happy to break the record, and Iíd like to get 350,"
Sharp said. "Iíd be ecstatic to get 360, and even more ecstatic
to get 370 (mph)."
days, Sharp said he prepares by going over the airplane and the route.
While itís a straight-line course, Sharp said he will have to manage
his turns and get back up to speed as quickly as possible.
conditions on racing days could play a huge impact on his success.
"Mojave is always hot and dry, while Oshkosh tends to be hot and
humid. The air is thicker here, and that makes airplanes go
said heís excited to make the record attempt in Oshkosh in front of so
many aviation enthusiasts. "Itís a rare treat. This place is like
heaven. There are airplanes everywhere, so itís a big deal for us to
Utley, member of the Contest & Records Board of the National
Aeronautic Association, said he will be able to confirm if Sharp set the
record within 1-1/2 hours of each race. "We used to use high-speed
cameras and watches, but now we use high-speed precision GPS," he
said. "One will be in the airplane and the other on the
devices allow you to give precise readings on the planeís speed, and
they enable you to measure the planeís position within a few
centimeters, said Utley, who also confirmed Steve Fossettís
round-the-world trip and the Air Force B-1 speed records.
broken the 3 km record twice before at AirVenture and once at Mojave in
another weight category with the original Nemesis. This will be the
first time he will attempt to break the record in this weight category
and with the Nemesis NXT.
The Nemesis NXT is
displayed on AeroShell Square when itís not racing.