After a long time resting…

13 Aug

There are so many time since our records, when I wrote here last time (it is not true…)!

These months was strange. A mix of good feeling about our records with a bad feeling trying to figure out what will come next. The “well done job” feeling is very nice, all the media coverage, all the congratulations! But, we can’t stop here, we must find a new challenge, a new project to take our time in the next years. It is a matter of time, if you don’t find a new project for your life, your life will find a new project for you… But after many conversations, specially with Amy and Gunar, we found it! A new racer! But as this blog is suposed to talk about 308, let’s talk about 308 and let’s leave this new project only in your imagination.

So, 308 flew few times after the record. In early January we flew for Marcio Jumpei pictures and in March we flew for Rede Globo fotage. Only two short flights, just to acquire images for media. After this we decide to stop it again (ok, we took many time finishing Mehari’s wing) in order to change few things and try to make it faster. We are modifing the landing gear, making it shorter and installing new wheel farings. We will install a new instrumentation system and we will build a new removable fuel tank in order to make he available to do cross-country flights (ok, not Brazil’s cross country). We hope to finish is until the end of september in order to fly again with it.

We are also waiting that some one around the world try to overcome our records, because we know that we can do it again! Set records is a very nice kind of sport, where you never see your opponents, you never is able to see what they are doing to be better then you. So, it is a sport that you must overcome a opponent, but at the same time you must overcome yourself, trying to do what you did before in a better way! That is the spirit behind records!

So, this post is only to keep this blog active! I hope to send more pictures soon! Enjoy this poster!

3km em primeira pessoa

8 Dec

No words!

5 Dec

I don’t know if was Kermit or JFK who said: – It is not easy to be fast!

3 Dec

Hello you all! Here we are, back at Belo Horizonte with the world fastest airplane sitting in the workshop (maybe for new improvements). Today was a FANTASTIC day! Again we woke up at 05:00AM in order to try to take-off at sun-rise. Nobody had breakfast because we wanted to be ready as soon as possible so we could try to break the 3km record, the “crème de la crème” of the world records. At the airport gate we went through INFRAERO’s “Authority” when the guard said that we were only allowed to get in after 06:30AM (sunrise was at 06:01AM). After some discussion and a call to the local police, the guard opened the gate. But this time lost was enough to start a weak rain development close to the runway 26 threshold (remember that SDZY runway is almost 3km long and it isn’t unusual to have different weather conditions on each end).  Despite the rain we decided to take-off to get the advantage of high air-density and low turbulence. The airplane weight was near 299kg because we added a lead weight in the engine mount to move the CG forward and make Gúnar`s life easier while flying fast at low heights (the 3km record must be flown within 100m from the ground). After take-off from runway 08 Gúnar started the passes from 08 to 26. On this type of record we start the course faster than our level speed and our indicated airspeed in this case was 210kts! Wow, this airplane is really fast, and with its opened exhaust tubes, the sound becomes beautiful! At 26 threshold the IAS was about 180-185kts. The second pass, from 26 to 08, we realized how laminar the airflow was over this wing. With rain drops over it, even with an aggressive nose down attitude, Gúnar wasn’t able to reach more than 195kts and the pass was very slow.  However, Gúnar tried 6 passes (the measurement must be the average of 4 consecutive passes), intending for the fastest ones to compensate the slowest.

Back on the ground we pushed the airplane into our “hangar” and went back to the hotel to have a breakfast. After eating a little bit, Mr. Brian started to analyze the data and after a couple of minutes he showed me the results… 355km/h. A new world record, but… the maximum height above the ground allowed is 100m and we reached 104m… Oh, only 4 meters cost us the world record. But, the pass that had this problem was the only when the rain was strongest. So, now that the rain stopped we can try again, even faster. Move everybody back to the airport – first to resolve our differences with INFRAERO and then to prepare the airplane to fly again: engine, fuel, clean and seal. Now Gúnar took-off from runway 26, and again started the passes from 08 to 26. The weather was better, but a little bit more turbulent and with a lower ceiling. After three passes, just at the preparation for the fourth pass, Gúnar had to deviate from a cloud and climbed up to 1600ft (our limit is 500m – 1640ft) and taking into account the precision of the altimeter we started to think that we`d lost another try. Gúnar finished the fourth pass (a little bit disappointed) and came to land. Now the team’s mood was a bit apprehensive, waiting for Brian’s result. After a few minutes I saw Brian shaking his head side to side, like a gesture of disapproval… I thought to myself: – Ok, we can fly again… but as soon as I finished my thought he murmured: – How can it be so fast!… Yeah! 360.13km/h A NEW WORLD RECORD FOR 3KM! Now CEA-308, flown by Gúnar Armin, is, definitively, the world’s fastest airplane. A feeling of joy took over the team! After that, there was a fish lunch, paper work, disassembly and road travel back to Belo Horizonte to spend the night with our family (ok, sleeping)…

Three in a row, and in one day!

1 Dec

Today was a great day for CEA-308 project. God has been good with us! I woke up at 05:00AM in order to come to the airport and finish to prepare the airplane for the record attempts. Yesterday we did a test flight just to see if Brian’s GPS is working and we already prepared the engine for today, so the job early in the morning was only clean the airplane and prepare the weighting. To be honest, I could sleep a little bit more, but, to be more honest, I was so anxious and I want to come to the airport to be with 308! So, Gunar and everybody arrived here at 06:15AM and near 07:00AM we were in the end of the runway 08 ready to take-off to Time to Climb up to 3000m attempt. This record wasn’t in our pretention, but after one flight last week in Divinopolis we realize that we were able to set a new record in this category too. This is very impressive because CEA-308 is a racer airplane and it is supposed to flight fast leveled, but last Catto’s propeller increase a lot our ratio of climb and then we decide to try it. So as soon as Gunar release the breaks of the airplane Brian started his stopwatch and after 9 minutes and few seconds latter 308 put Gunar at more than 10000ft above the ground! The last world record, set in Russia was 13 minutes and 40 seconds. Yeah! First record of our life! The only thing that we need to validate it is the sounding results obtained in Galeão airport by DCEA team, but we believe that we will have it tomorrow. So, then was time to prepare the airplane again to try 15km straight course speed record. Meanwhile Leonel Brites and Flavio Oliva arrived at the airport after a heroic trip from São Paulo (raining) to Rio de Janeiro (in war) to Juiz de Fora (by car) arriving there at 03:00AM. Thanks Leonel and Flavio, not only to bring FAI back to Brasil, but also to be here with us! The preparation of the airplane consists in check the engine, put fuel, clean and re-tape all the gaps. At 10:00AM we were ready to take-off again, for 15km speed record. Do you know what? This little airplane is alive… Up to yesterday our leveled speed was 165kts IAS(in optimum conditions) what give us 310km/h of ground speed. Today, the indicated airspeed was 175kts what gave us 329km/h of ground speed and new world record! So, 308 is like a race horse, he knew that we need to be fast today and he did his best to help us! He is really an amazing horse, machine! During lunch time we prepare the airplane again, now for 100 km out and return record. Engine, fuel, clean and seal. The weather started to change and we were in doubt if we would have enough time to fly before the rain… But, as world recorder, 308 show us again that he was fast. He and Gunar did the 108km course in less than 20 minutes, what give us a 326km/h mark, and again, a new world record! Unbelievable, three world records in one day, and in two so different categories, speed and  time to climb! Tomorrow we will try more stuffs here, let’s see what happens!

The Speed Week was started!

29 Nov

Hello, I am writing from Confins Int’ Airport, where I am waiting Mr. Brian Utley to arrive on the AA991. Brian, as a member of NAA (National Aeronautical Association) records committee  is coming here invited by myself and by CAB in order to help us to measure our records tries. I was following Brian job since 2005, when I received a NAA magazine describing a new GPS technique to measure speed records. At that time Mr. John Parker was set a world record with his Thunder Mustang using this new GPS system under the supervision of Brian. When we decide to make these tries I started to use my network contacts in order to know how to measure it. After few e-mails between South Africa, USA and England, we converge on Mr. A.W. Greenfield from NAA that indicate us Brian. After my first invitation he accept to come to Brazil! Welcome Brian! Enjoy a non-commercial part of Brazil, the Minas Gerais Mountains!

Why do you design and build airplanes?

28 Nov

When I was involved with rock climb it was very common to hear the question: – Why do you climb? Before that I was addicted to ride road bicycles and on one Saturday morning I was able to ride more than 100km and the question still on: Why do you spend so many time suffering on a bike? So, now my life is, more than normal, based on design and build airplanes, and in my case as much performance as much better. And the question still on: – Why do you design and build these kinds of machines… I must confess, as in the previous cases, I don’t know. Maybe I am addicted, maybe I am crazy, maybe… In this particular case, design and build airplane inside a university environment has a special propose in the quality of academical life of our students, but if this is the only reason for that, I must confess, it is not enough. It is easy to infer that just few universities around the world has this kind of treatment to their students, and must be have another reason to do it in such way.

Backing on my memory I can remember when I was an young boy and my father was always putting me closing to airplanes and specially with air models. I still can remember some mornings at Jardim Canada field, where my dad was playing with his models (with our friend “Biscoito”) and I was playing with that red dirt (iron mineral). I still can remember of few models, a big white Styrofoam glider and one elastic prop model made with steel wires that my dad bring me from Germany. But this is only my memories and until few years ago I can’t explain why to do this… Today I had a experience, just before one “crux” of my career, that give me an insight of why I do it! Take a look on this picture. While I was build an omniglider for my son (and myself) he was paying attention, careful, on my hands…Yes, the same that I did with my father! And I can remember this! I can remember his using cianoacrilate for this first time, I remember “Biscoito” cutting his finger on a running propeller, I remember details of the construction of a Stevens Akro Model (painted in blue – you can ask my dad if it is true!). So this is the explanation! It is, at least, one part of the explanation. For my son, I hope, it will be an inspiration for his life. He don’t need to became an airplane designer or builder, but I hope that he can remember good times that we will spend together between the airplanes and the airmodels, in a same way that I remember my time with my dad. For my students, as adopted sons, I hope that they remember about our dedication, our success, our difficulties, and our obstinacy! In both cases I hope that I can do the best type of education, where the best class is my example. The airplane design, build and operation, in both cases, are just one excuse to try to educate, it is just one “lovely” reason to be together, to exchange experiences and to, I hope, influence lifes…

 

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