The World Glider R/C Speed Record is a subject that crops up on a regular basis. The record that has passed into R/C mythology; that of 242 mph (390 kph), was set in 1978, ignoring Dynamic soaring records of course. That's over 30 years ago! This will be before many of you were even born...

Although a magnificent achievement at that time, don't try to relate it to your own slope flying because the record was set over a 50 metre course and 6600 feet up an Austrian mountain at the end of an enormous dive! And, of course, the air is thinner (19% less) at that high above sea level.

If you want to read more, and see a 3-view of the model called the PFEIL (German for Arrow) there's a contemporary article on to download below. I scanned the 3 pages below (~800Kb) of the original since the original magazine is unavailable 30 odd years on. Click on the thumbnails.

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  • As far as I know, in 2010, the course length is 200 metres and not the 50 metres mentioned above.
  • The speed record (non D/S) is currently held by Klaus Kowalski of Germany at 239.70 kph (149mph) over a 200 metre course.
  • It was set on 20th July 1991.
  • The record has to be the calculated from the average time of a pass in each direction over the course, in the same flight and within a 30 minute slot.
  • Claims higher than 150 mph must be electronically timed (i.e. no stopwatches).
  • Updated by gw Feb 2010