Jochen Zeischka breaks world record for hang gliding


The previous fifteen world records for hang gliding were in the name of a foreigner. Now a fellow countryman has come to the fore in this sport. A world first.

Never before has a hang glider completed a 25km FAI Triangle, which is essentially a flight with a starting, turning and finishing point, in such a short time. He finished the job in barely 23 minutes and 20 seconds, making for an average speed of 65kph. This was a significant improvement over the previous world record of 51kph. His performance in the Sisteron region, in the French department of Hautes-Alpes, dates back to 19 July 2020, but it has only now been officially recognised by the International Aeronautical Federation (FAI).

The 25km FAI Triangle may well be the shortest distance in the regular competition, but the challenge does require the right skills. You have to look for thermals, rising warm air, to gain altitude. Every time Zeischka ended up in such a thermal, he shot forward at 80 to 110kph, quite impressive under such a smooth hang glider. Paragliders and birds of prey also use this technique.

The hang glider is a triangular tubular structure with a tarpaulin stretched across the top. The pilot, with their head forward and hoisted flat on their belly in a kind of harness attached to the wing, steers by shifting their weight. From front to back for speed, from left to right to turn. After extensive theoretical and practical courses, you could try it out yourself ...