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A WORLD RECORD-BREAKING TUNNEL TAKEOFF

- SEPTEMBER 4, 2021 -

Dario Costa writes a new chapter in aviation history in daring flight through Turkey’s Çatalca tunnels

Khaki Navy Scuba AutoKhaki Navy Scuba Auto

On Sept. 4, 2021, Italian aerobatic and racing pilot Dario Costa once again proved his precision and skill with a world-record-breaking flight through two auto tunnels near Istanbul, with Hamilton as Official Timing Partner.

 

After a year of planning and practice, Dario took off in the cockpit of a specially modified Zivko Edge 540 race plane just after dawn. Limited overhead clearance required him to maintain a steady flight path around 70 cm from the asphalt, and 4.0 meters from each wingtip to the tunnel’s concrete sides.

Completely enclosed and in near-darkness, Hamilton ambassador and Red Bull athlete executed a tricky takeoff in the first tunnel, continued through an open-air gap and then into the second tunnel – all at 245 km/h, flying less than one meter from the ground.

Forty-four seconds later, Dario had flown 1,730m, reaching an average speed of 245 km/h and set a new World Record for the Longest Tunnel Flight.

Originally launched in 2014, the Khaki Aviation Takeoff Automatic Chronograph features a unique function created to meet the needs of pilots: a removable case and mount. Wearers can ‘takeoff’ the case without removing the full watch and attach it to its fixed mount on a cockpit dash.

In celebration of Dario’s record-breaking flight, we worked with him to produce a new Khaki Aviation Takeoff Automatic Chronograph – a special edition limited to 100 pieces, the number a reference to the maximum possible flying height of 100cm inside both tunnels.

“The moment I put power in, I knew I had to do it properly. I just followed what I’d been rehearsing in my brain and it was kind of an automatic flow. I had to do it without thinking.” Dario Costa

 

Khaki Navy Scuba AutoKhaki Navy Scuba Auto
Khaki Navy Scuba AutoKhaki Navy Scuba Auto

With a focus on counting every second up to 40 – the length of Dario’s tunnel flight – we added extra layers of Super-LumiNova® on the central seconds hand and seconds indicators up to 40. To ensure Dario’s focus even in the tunnel’s darkness, there is no Super-LumiNova® on the remaining indicators or the hour and minute hands.

Powered by our H-31 automatic chronograph movement, the 46mm Takeoff features two sub dials and a bi-directional turning flange for easy countdowns. As a nod to the dangerous tunnel flight, the limited edition piece features yellow-ringed counters: The 12 o’clock sub dial has been adapted to a 15-minute countdown to correspond with the maximum stunt duration, and at 6 o’clock is a 60-second counter.

“The seconds hand is the only visible moving element on the dial of the watch, which allows me to focus on the one thing I need to know: precise timing.” Dario Costa