The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, which establishes rules for the control and certification of world aeronautical and astronautical records, awarded the Louis Blériot medal to air racing pilot Richard “Smokey” Young at a ceremony Nov. 17 in Los Angeles.
The Blériot medal may be awarded up to three times every year to record setters in speed, altitude or distance categories in light aircraft. It is named in honor of Louis Blériot, an early air racing pilot and aviation pioneer.
Young established his world speed record Sept. 11, 2010, at Thermal, Calif., in a Western Air Racing Formula 1 aircraft. The record, for aircraft weighing between 660 lbs. and 1,100 lbs., was set at 242.7 miles per hour.
“One of the most remarkable aspects of this record flight was that it was set using gasoline derived entirely from renewable or ‘green’ resources,” he said. “This gasoline named 100SF is designed by Swift Enterprises Ltd. of West Lafayette, Ind. It is intended to replace the leaded aviation gasoline currently in use.”
Young said he used 100SF during his record flight to emphasize the viability of greener fuels, even in extreme racing situations.
“The speed record established Sept. 11 is almost 200 miles per hour in excess of what most airplanes can achieve using the same power plant and traditional leaded fuels,” he said. “This record legitimizes the capabilities of biomass-derived fuel.”
Young said Swift Enterprises’ 100SF has a unique composition that sets it apart from other alternative fuels. “It contains no ethanol, and can be made from a number of bio-mass materials, even garbage,” he said. “Also, it can act as a direct replacement to 100LL gasoline.”
In addition to Swift Enterprises, the record flight was sponsored by Tradition Aviation, an independent FBO at the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport (JCRA), and Pacific Continental Engines, located on-field at Whiteman Airport (WHP) in Los Angeles.
Young is the director of the Aviation Pilot Training program at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif. He also is an air racing and exhibition pilot who raced in the Reno Air Races from 2003 to 2009 in the Formula 1 class. In 2008 Smokey began racing in Europe’s Aero GP series, performing at races in Romania, Great Britain and United Arab Emirates. From November 2007 to November 2010 Smokey was the president of the International Formula 1 Air Racing Association, air racing’s leading governing body.