Cape Challenge

Steve Noujaim (ex RAF Lightning/Phantom/Hawk QWI etc) took off this morning to try and beat Alex Henshaw's 1939 London-CapeTown-London record, travelling in single seat aircraft at less than 200hp.

A South African beat the time in 2009, but going CT-London-CT last year

He hopes to be back in the UK by Friday afternoon

more on the Cape Challenge can be found at The Cape Challenge, flight record bid or a live tracker is at Track Aircraft

He isn't doing it for any major charities, but a small one, Fly2Help (fly2help - Lifting Horizons)

Any interest/donations would be welcomed

Southend, Friday 3rd September 2010: At 15.54 GMT (16.54 BST) today, one of the world’s most famous and longest unbroken aviation records, set by an Englishman and held for 71 years, was smashed by another English pilot, Steve Noujaim, who took nearly 24 hours off the original record.

Noujaim, an ex-RAF fighter pilot and now an commercial airline Captain, landed his home-built Vans RV7 at Southend airport, after taking 3 days, 11 hours and 15 minutes to make the round-trip journey of 10,660 miles, breaking the solo speed record for a light aircraft flying from London to Cape Town and back, set by Alex Henshaw, a famous war-time Spitfire test pilot, 71 years ago.

In 1939 Henshaw took 4 days, 10 hours and 16 minutes to make the round trip. 31 years later he issued a challenge “to any pilot in the world, in any aircraft with not more than 200 horsepower, to fly to the Cape and back in less time than the Mew Gull in 1939”.

Such was the magnitude of Henshaw’s achievement that it wasn’t until last year that a South African pilot, Captain Charles “Chalkie” Stobbart, took up that challenge and flew his home-built Osprey aircraft from Cape Town to London and back in 3 days, 15 hours and 17 minutes. But, because it was in the opposite direction, Henshaw’s record, in the annals of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), still stood – until today.

Setting off from Southend airport at dawn on Tuesday 31st August, Noujaim sped southwards through Europe and North Africa at almost 180 knots (207 mph) to make his first re-fuelling stop at Tamanrasset in southern Algeria. An hour and a half later he was airborne for Brazzaville in Congo, landing there for his only other re-fuelling. By 1543 GMT on Wednesday he was in Cape Town, a journey of 35 hours and 5 minutes, which broke the south-bound record.

After only eleven and a half hours, which included 6 hours of sleep, he was airborne again for the return journey, landing briefly at the same re-fuelling spots en route ending his record-breaking journey arriving at Southend.

These records are subject to confirmation by the FAI.


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