86-Year-Old Builds and Flies His Own Helicopter Into Top Speed Record Title
The story of Kenneth Wallis is nothing short of an extraordinary one. For those who ...
The story of Kenneth Wallis is nothing short of an extraordinary one. For those who have never heard of him, brace yourselves. The world lost Wallis in 2013 but even today, we have much to learn from his pursuits. Not only did he manage to find a lifelong passion, something that many of us can’t quite seem to grasp. He also managed to follow through on this passion, chasing it down until he would pass away at the age of 97.
Wallis was described as an aviator, engineer, and inventor. He served in the Second World War, flying in 28 Royal Air Force bomber missions over Germany. Post-war, he would retire in 1964 before moving on to aviation research and development. With all of this aviation experience, he would then continue to become an expert in autogyros. In his case, these autogyros would act as a sort of miniature helicopter. The fun part is that Wallis would go on to chase down autogyro world records.
In the video below, we get to check out Wallis in his natural habitat. The aircraft that we see in the video below goes by the name of Zeus III. This particular video, we believe, shows Wallis traveling at over 100 mph in the homemade creation. His goal was to eventually break his own autogyro record which was set firmly at 129 mph at the time. In a homemade craft this small, that has to be one heck of a feeling.
Wallis is listed as the once record holder for the longest flight in an autogyro as he traveled the length of Britain. During this record, he claims that he would’ve gone further if it weren’t for running out of land. Furthermore, he became the oldest pilot to set a world record when he “accidentally” became the quickest to climb to 3000 feet in 7 minutes 20 seconds.
Wallis was able to cement himself in the record books one more time, managing 129.1 mph in 2002, a record that he holds to this day. This would again cement him in the record books as the oldest to set a record for a second time.