NALSA NEWS FLASH- New Landsailing Speed Record !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
March 15, 1999 - Ivanpah Dry Lake , Primm, NV
Yesterday Bob Schumacher (pilot) and Bob Dill (designer/pilot) achieved
a new world record in landsailing hitting 108.8 miles per hour (175.5 kph)
in 25-35 mph winds. Many runs were made in the 90's and over 100 with Bob
Dill and Bob Schumacher alternating as pilots in the "Iron Duck" solid
wing, three wheeled landyacht. This US achievement replaces the former
world record of 94.7 mph (152.7 kph) held by Bertrand of France.
Bob Dill has been developing the Iron Duck for over 7 years in his hometown
of Burlington, Vermont.
Measurement team was headed by Kent Hatch, President of the North American
Land Sailing Assn. (NALSA).
More speed attempts are possible as the NALSA America's Landsailing
Cup Regatta begins March 21-26, 1999 at the Ivanpah dry lake site on the
California side of Primm, NV, 35 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada.
(See follow up note.
For more information check the NALSA Web site on the Internet.
c/o Kent Hatch
1680 Manzanita Ln
Reno, NV 89509
775-825-1530 contact phone
Reported by Mark Harris, NALSA, American 5 Square Meter Assn., SALA
2027 Valencia Way
Sparks, NV 89434
Editors follow up.
On Saturday March 20th, on the day before the America's Landsailing
Cup Regatta, the 'Iron Duck' was once again piloted to a new and higher
speed. In front of an enthusiastic crowd the Duck was pushed to a
top speed of 116.7mph (187.7kph). Below are photos of the 'Iron Duck'.
Details of the sailing conditions, and yacht information are below.
Jim Hart US93
The Iron Duck, March 1999
· Fastest pilot: Bob Schumacher: 116.7 mph, March 20, 1999
· Second fastest run: 115.0 mph
· Second fastest pilot: Bob Dill: 112.3 mph
· Probable wind speed during the fastest runs: 25-30 mph.
· General Configuration: Asymmetric, port tack favored
· Length: 39 ft
· Wheel base: 30 ft
· Width: 23'
· Track (outside of tires): 22'
· Weight: 1600 lbs. (after capsizing the Wood Duck in 1994,
adding extra steel was too easy)
· Moderate aerodynamic hold-down from the axles.
· Construction Materials:
· Tubular metal frame
· White ash axles
· Volvo spindles, hubs and wheels
· Plywood, foam and fiberglass fairings
· Wing: Hot wire cut foam under 1/8" plywood in the back and
fiberglass over the nose.
· Field assembly: Duct tape
· Wing Height: 23 ft
· Cantilevered mast
· Wing :71 sq. ft without flap, chain driven from hand wheel.
· Flap: 15 sq. ft, external type, 0014 section, pivot axis:
4% forward of wing tail.
· Wing section: NACA 0014.5 (scaled from a 0012)
· Wing chord/profile: 40" with elliptical top 5 feet
· Wing pivot axis: 17.5% of chord length
· Side Tires: 14" wheel, 23" diameter: very sticky dirt track
tires or high performance street tires.
· Tire pressure: 35 to 50 psi
· Tire life: ½ to 2 days.
· Front Tire: 5x5 airplane tire
· Steering: double cable, foot operated.
· Designer: Bob Dill
· Design inspiration and advice on winged landyachts: Clarence
Rothtock (Scorpion), Phil Rothrock (all his boats), Chauncey Griggs (Schazaam),
Kent Hatch (several boats).
· Builders: Bob Dill, Anders Toft, Bob Schumacher, Jerry Manock.
· Hot wire team: All the Dills and anyone else I could talk
into this tedious job.
· Time invested: About 4000 hours since 1993.
· Construction Cost: About $6000 for two boats (labor rate =$0.00/hr).
· Travel/Transport Cost: About $10,000 since 1994.
· Sponsor: The Robert Dill Charitable Fund for Overweight Birds
(any and all donations gladly accepted)
Measuring things accurately in the field is always a challenge.
NALSA recently developed a set of regulations for speed record attempts
with these problems in mind. They are designed to assure that the measurement
methods used for determining records are scientifically and ethically valid.
The regulations require that a calibrated, high accuracy Primary Measurement
Method be used to get the 'official' measurement data. One or more secondary
methods are used to back up the primary measurements and assure that there
are not any false readings.
In our case we designated the NALSA Stalker Radar as the primary
method. The Stalker is the best sports radar available. We had four secondary
methods including an older (shorter range) Stalker Radar that I own, two
Avocet 45 speedometers and a Garmin II+ GPS. The radars agreed very well
over a large number of runs. The speedometers read about 5% low at the
highest speeds. This is consistent with losses observed in this speed range
in bench tests run on the Avocet 45 (see article in the NALSA newsletter).
The GPS accuracy spec is +/- 0.5mph.
Its maximum reading was 2 mph higher than the primary radar
measurement. We believe this was the top speed of the boat during
its fastest run. We considered both radar and a timing trap for primary
measurement. We have been using radar in the US for several years. FISLY
currently prefers a timing trap. They both have about the same overall
The main objection to radar is that it gives a peak value rather
than an average over a distance. We have found that relatively heavy boats
at their peak speed do not change speed much in the time it takes to traverse
a 50 meter trap (less than a second). That was very clear when you watched
the radar gun as the Duck was approaching.
We chose radar for several reasons. Radar is easy to set up
and calibrate. There is tractability of the calibration to the National
Institute of Standards and Technology. Radar also has a long history of
holding up to court challenges in the prosecution of speeding tickets.
When used properly, it is very unlikely to give false readings.
Radar also updates quickly so we were able to record multiple readings
on many runs. It can be pointed at the incoming boat no matter what direction
it is coming from. We came in at a wide range of approach angles trying
different things to maximize speed. Adjusting a trap to match the constantly
changing optimum approach angle would have required a lot of down time.
On a beach this would be less of a problem because the boat is restricted
to a relatively narrow path. Also, the wind on an ocean beach tends to
be much more uniform in velocity and direction than winds tumbling over
our desert mountains. An important safety feature of radar is that it has
enough range to allow the boat to stay well away from the measurement station.
An obvious way to get killed in this game would be to hit the motor home
at 100+ mph. On the wide open playa or on ice, we believe radar is clearly
the best measurement method.
If you have questions, comments or suggestions I can be reached
PS: (February 2001) NALSA has adopted the use of high performance
GPS with data logging as a primary measurement method. It offers
lower measurement uncertanity and considerably more data than radar as
we have been using it. While radar allows the yacht the be measured
from a distance GPS allows the course to be completely free of vehicles,
a distinct safety advantage. See the NALSA
Regulations for Speed Record Attempts (Revision 1, Sept 2000)
(Thumbnails will link to larger pictures)
| No, it's not bent. It's meant to be that way!
|| Nose on.
|| Belting up...
| The Iron Duck.
|| Bob S. under glass!
|| Pushing off...
| On the move.
|| At speed!
|| 'Sir' Bob Dill.
| 'Sir' Bob Schumacher.
|| Packing up.
Last modified 4/10/18