On October 10, Will Whiteside broke the world speed record for an piston-engine powered aircraft of less than 6,600 lbs. This record was held since 1935 by Howard Hughes in his H1 racer, and was only broken in 2002 by an H1 replica. Flying his Yak-3U “Steadfast”, Whiteside broke the record at 407 mph, beating the H1 replica by 102 mph.
The record-breaking flight was made in Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. It should soon be validated by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Whiteside, who ran at the Reno Air Race this year, flies a 2005 Yak-3U powered by a 1,750 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2000 7M2 radial engine.