In under 3 years, between May 2007 and April 2010, Steve set a massive total of 377 British National aviation records of which he has claimed the most significant 101 international records as official FAI World Speed Records - this even exceeds the 92 FAI world records set by the legendary Steve Fossett.
All of Steve’s 101 FAI world records have been accepted by the Royal Aero Club as British National Records. With 101 records ratified by the FAI as official world records and 77 world records set in a single year - Steve is really in the record books being:
- No. 1 in the World for the most aviation world records set by a British pilot in aviation history, in any type of flying machine - 101 records
- No. 1 in the World for the number of world records set by a pilot of any nationality flying a homebuilt aircraft (records complying with the FAI 2008 Sporting Code rules which provided for a minimum record speed of 100 km/h or the stall speed of the aircraft if higher) - 101 records
- No. 1 in the World for world records set to / from The Bahamas - 64 records
- No. 1 in the UK for the most aeroplane world records ever set in a single year - 77 records
- No. 1 in the World for the most world records ever set in a US registered homebuilt aircraft - 101 records
- The first British pilot to fly a homebuilt aircraft around the ‘four corners’ of the USA - 3 times!
- No other British pilot in aviation history has set as many records in any type of flying machine - 101 FAI World Records and 377 British National Records
Steve is not alone in claiming only a proportion of records as official FAI world records as the legendary Sheila Scott is reputed to have set over 100 aviation records but only claimed 77 official FAI world records - and of these 77 FAI records only 47 were individual records, 30 being duplicate ‘feminine’ records which have since been superseded by the FAI as there is no longer a ‘feminine’ category for aeroplane records.
In May 2007 Steve officially set three international FAI World Records for Class C-1b, Speed over Recognised Course. All three records were for international flights to and from the USA. The records were from London to New York, Orlando to London and London to Detroit, with the record from London to New York being flown is a time faster than Concorde’s! Of course, whilst the London involved has the Thames river, just like its namesake in England, it was in fact in Canada. But nevertheless the records were truly international.
At the end of July 2007, Steve flew a 10000 mile / 7 day flight around the ‘four corners’ of the USA becoming the first British pilot to be officially recorded for such a flight. But there was much more to this record setting flight - Steve set a further 26 international FAI World Records during the flight, including two transcontinental records. These were from Vancouver to Bangor and Seattle to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Other records included San Diego to Vancouver, Los Angeles to Vancouver, London to Atlanta etc.
In November 2007, a further 6 international FAI World Records were set between the USA and the Bahamas. Then in December 2007, Steve set another 29 international FAI World Records between the USA and the Bahamas. In April 2008, 13 more FAI world records were set, once again between the USA and the Bahamas. In July 2008 a third ‘four corners’ flight America was flown to set another 13 international FAI world records, including a transcontinental record from Freeport (Bahamas) to San Diego, CA (USA).
Finally in April 2010 Steve set a further 11 world records to / from The Bahamas bringing his total to 101 FAI World Records and 377 British National Records.
Steve has smashed a 56 year old record for the most FAI aeroplane world records set by a British pilot in a single year. The previous record of 27 records was set by T W Hayhow in 1952, flying an Auster Aiglet. Even the legendary Sheila Scott set only 23 world records in a single year back in 1967, so Steve’s 77 world records claimed in a single year beats this by a huge margin.
Sheila Scott has until now been recognised as having set the most world records of any British pilot. As mentioned previously, her 77 official FAI world records included 30 duplicate records in the ‘Feminine’ category which have been since superseded by the FAI as there is no longer such a category. In reality her total of 47 world records has been well and truly surpassed by Steve.
The greatest number of world records ever set by a British aviator flying a homebuilt airplane, set many years ago by Victor Davies with 62 records, has also been surpassed. These 62 records comprised only 46 individual records. They also included 30 records which would not be valid under the present world record rules and 16 records which were ‘out and back’ records. In the balloon and airship section another British record breaker, Julian Nott, is shown as setting a total of 53 world records (36 still current) but these involved only 7 individual records as records were duplicated in multiple categories for the same balloon / flight.
Steve has even surpassed the number of official FAI world records set by the legendary Steve Fossett. In the FAI database Fossett is shown as setting a total of 92 FAI world records (excluding three records which he set twice). Of these, 48 records were duplicates in multiple categories for the same records. Fossett set 23 Speed over Recognised Course records, the same type of records set by Steve. Just 4 of these records were flown solo, the rest with a co-pilot, whereas Steve's records were all flown solo. Just like Sheila Scott and others, Steve Fossett claimed to have set more records than are officially recorded. Of course Fossett was in a class of his own for the spectacular absolute world records he set.
The FAI online record database and the “World and United States Aviation & Space Records” publication have been researched in ascertaining the number of records held / set by other pilots. In March 2008 the FAI revised its rules and imposed a minimum speed which could be claimed - 100 kph or the clean stall speed - as previously speeds as low as 8 kph have been claimed. All of Steve’s records comply with the 2008 rules.
Many types of records, balloon and airships in particular, can be duplicated for the same flight in multiple categories and also in both feminine / general categories. For example, the 44 records set by in a single year by female balloonist Janet Folkes was based on only three records in a single flight - altitude, distance and duration - with the total being enhanced by claiming the three records in each of 10 categories and also claiming 5 duplicate records in the feminine category as well as the general category. Also as mentioned above, Steve Fossett is recorded as setting 92 FAI world records but of these 42 were duplicates meaning just 50 records were actually set and of these a number have been superseded as they have been broken either by Fossett himself or others.