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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 February, 2003, 18:00 GMT
Pilot flies into the record books
Gyrocopter
The journey took seven hours and 23 minutes
An Army helicopter pilot who took off from Cornwall on Monday morning has broken the world record for continuous flight in an open-cockpit gyroplane.

Warrant Officer Barry Jones landed in Wick in Scotland after completing the 584 mile non-stop journey from Culdrose in seven hours and 23 minutes.

The existing record of 543 miles was set by Wing Commander Ken Wallis almost 30 years ago.

But Mr Jones said it was a tough flight.

Round-the-world

"Until I got to the Swansea area my ground speed was about 55 knots and I needed 65 to make the route.

"So at the time I thought 'we're not going to make it'.

"But the wind picked up as I went down the side of the Welsh mountains and I guess that made up for it."

The 35-year-old father of three's bid is planned as a curtain raiser for a round-the-world Autogyro flight in March to mark the centenary of powered air travel .

Mr Jones, based at RAF Dishforth in North Yorkshire, came up with the idea for the 24,301 mile trip to raise money for the Dyslexia Institute, the NSPCC and the Red Cross 9/11 appeal.

The autogyro generates lift with rotors, but unlike a helicopter, it generates the thrust needed to move forward with an engine-powered propeller.


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