14th of May 2005
Another record in today's aviation history blog, an altitude record to be more precise.
An altitude of 8848 meters or 29029 ft to be exact was entered in the record books and was recognised by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. The record was set by Didier Delsalle chief testpilot of Eurocopter. No surprise then that the record was set with a Eurocopter helicopter,
a Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel. Location; 27.9881° N, 86.9250° E.
Yes, a helicopter was flown to the top of Mount Everest! A near-standard Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel (F-WQEX) was flown by Didier Delsalle to the top of the world.
Due to the thin air, the aircraft had to lose some weight, about 120 kg was saved by removing seats, amongst others. Still, updrafts were needed to reach the top of the world! A day later he did it again to prove it was not just a lucky shot the day before, and again landed on the top of the world!