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New Hang Gliding World Record Set by Piloting 222 Miles Out-and-Return

The world record was achieved last month over the Owens Valley in California.

On June 20, hang glider pilot Owen Morse just piloted his Wills Wing T3 154 222.22 miles without stopping, high over the Owens Valley in California.

In doing so, he set a new world record in the sport with Federation Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world governing body for air sports, including hang gliding.

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A dream come true

For those who want to visualize how Morse set the world record, there is an impressive 3D visualization on Ayvri.com. The visualization shows how Morse had to spiral and catch updrafts in order to reach new heights to allow him to achieve his record.

"This flight was a dream come true for me," Morse wrote in a post for WillsWing. "For six years I’ve been chasing the out-and-back world record, and this year, all the pieces of the puzzle finally came together beautifully."

"My previous attempts had ended prematurely for a number of reasons – thunder storms on course line, a NOTAM due to a nearby forest fire, a harness pitch cord failure, and running out of daylight (another way of saying I had been flying too slowly)," Morse continued.

"It takes a lot of things to go right to have success, and one significant thing going wrong can be the end of it all."

The previous holder of the out-and-return world record was Austrian Tom Weissenberger, with a 353km out-and-return performed in Chile in November 2013, XCMag explains.

Soaring to a world record

In the video below, hang gliding enthusiasts can see some of the equipment Owen Morse used to achieve his world record flight.

The long-distance flight will likely have many wanting to get their gear and hit the mountains to take on the challenge themselves. It's certainly one way to social distance — though those skies might be a lot more crowded in the near future.

For details on another upcoming world record attempt, be sure to read our article on a group of Duke University students attempting to claim the record for the world's fastest electric monowheel.

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