Emirates Team New Zealand’s land yacht pilot Glenn Ashby reflects on the second week of testing on ‘Horonuku’ ahead of their Wind Powered Land Speed World Record attempt later this year.
Gday all, it is with great pleasure that I announce the successful conclusion of the New Zealand-based testing program of Horonuku at Whenuapai Air Base. Phase 2 is complete! With the wonderful assistance of the RNZAF, we have been able to sign off on the many pre-designed configurations and tuning of the main components of the yacht, which will enable us to hit the ground rolling at speed when we arrive in the Australian outback.
A big thanks to the RNZAF for being so accommodating and thank you also to our own Landspeed team for their great work in helping make the testing and commissioning efficient and accurate.
We have sailed up to 148kmph and put the craft through some punishing testing in shifty, gusty breeze and Horonuku came through with flying colours. It is clear to me that this craft is ready to stretch her legs and take a big breath of air.
The feeling I have in the cockpit every time I air brake the wing and stand on the disc brakes as the end of the tarmac approaches at speed, is one of surrealism. Knowing that in a couple of months’ time (when we arrive at Lake Gairdner), there will be no braking, no tarmac and no boundaries.
This final week of Horonuku based in NZ will see it de-rigged, disassembled, cleaned, serviced and packed up on its trailer, loaded into a container with equipment and spare parts, ready for shipping to Australia.
The container doors will be shut on Friday, bringing to a close the first two phases of the project. The design/build and NZ based commissioning and testing is done
I very much look forward to a successful Phase 3 of this project!