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)…

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

  1. TOM LEITE December 4, 2010 at 11:20 AM #

    FANTASTIC over 100m/s
    Congratulations Team308

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