Flashback: How Paulson’s pursuit sniffed out Lacy’s SP

With AIN Media Group’s Aviation International News and its predecessor Aviation Convention News celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary of continuous publication this year, AIN’s editorial staff scours the archives each month to bring readers interesting events that have been covered over the last half century. .

REWIND (MAY 1988): There is nothing more fragile than an “unbreakable” disc. That’s what world-record pilot Clay Lacy discovered on February 27 when Gulfstream Aerospace President Allen Paulson flew one of his company’s GIVs to smash the 45-minute, 41-second mark. that Lacy established on January 30 when he flew a borrowed United Airlines Boeing 747SP “once around the planet.” In all, Paulson has set 11 marks around the world in flight, including records in the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Unlimited category and the C-1.k category from 55,000 to 77,000 lbs.

FAST FORWARD: The GIV Paulson used, nicknamed “The Pursuit of Perfection”, was a bare metal aircraft with only 10 hours on the airframe. It was fitted with an additional 1,200-gallon internal fuel tank and completed the eastbound record flight in 36 hours, eight minutes and 34 seconds, setting NAA-certified speed records on every leg (which included stops refueling in Shannon, Ireland); Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Taipei, Taiwan; and Maui, Hawaii) before returning to Houston. Three Gulfstream test pilots and an official NAA observer accompanied Paulson during the flight. After Lacy’s previous record, Boeing said no current aircraft could beat the 747SP record, to which Paulson later replied, “I guess they forgot what David did to Goliath.” The record stands to this day.

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