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Thread: Race 39, Glasair III

  1. #1
    Todd copeland's Avatar
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    Race 39, Glasair III

    Wow, anyone paying attention to Reno this year? While the unlimiteds are great, I really enjoy seeing what the sport class is doing. It is interesting to me that it has not been the same type aircraft winning year after year. Lancairs, NXT, and now Jeff Lavelle and his amazing Glasair III. Almost 400mph and it's a design from the mid 1980's. What a plane!

  2. #2
    iFLYblog's Avatar
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    That's incredible! I had no idea you could make a Glasair go that fast! Kudos for Jeff Lavelle on this amazing accomplishment.

    Lavelle+Reno.JPG
    Brent Owens
    RV-8 'Contrary Mary' - Flying
    EAA 9 Vice President / Tech Counselor / Flight Advisor
    www.iflyblog.com



  3. #3

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    I wonder what factory VNE is for a Glassair, and if there is danger if they are exceeding that.?What engine is he using, I'd guess that it is turbocharged?

    And T-6 winning speed was up to 243, which is about 100 mph over normal economy cruise! Must be really noisy at the speed!

    I got curious and looked up the specs on VNE for the III and it is given as 335 mph, so he is way over that by 60 mph, and again I wonder how safe that is. It's hard to telll by the one photo by the pylon but looks like he might have shorter wings also.

    By contrast stock P-51 VNE is, I think, about .8 Mach so Strega, even at 525 or so on the straights would still have a good safety margin and of courese with shorter wings is heavily modified.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-18-2012 at 12:26 PM.

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    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Vne on the III is 291 knots in the manufacturer specs.

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    The source that I got on google gave the speed in mph. Normal top speed is 300 mph at 18,000 feet, and vne of 335 mph. If you multiply 291 knots by 1.1512 you get speed in mph which at 335 is the same thing, and almost 400 is still way over vne.

  6. #6
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Well it is 335 mph Indicated (well, probably calibrated). Converting to true air speed is about 370 MPH at 5000' and some reasonable temperature and pressure. So you only have to perform an analysis of what you need to bump the limit up by 30 mph.

  7. #7
    Todd copeland's Avatar
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    This vne conversation is a little odd given that virtually all race planes race beyond their original vne. The smart racers carefully test their airplanes incrementally beyond vne. With regard to the glasair 3, the structure is one of the lessor worries even at those speeds.

  8. #8
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    There are many things that go in to Vne. Some of them aren't going to be a problem. I can almost guarantee the III used is substantially lighter than the spec gross weight for instance.

  9. #9
    Chad Jensen's Avatar
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    I was there Thurs-Sun, and the Sport Class was my favorite class to watch! Those guys were having a blast...and that Glasair III was just HOT!!
    Chad Jensen
    EAA #755575

  10. #10

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    Todd, I wouldn't take VNE too lightly no matter what airplane.
    The Glasair is not immune to control surface flutter anymore than any other airplane.
    If he is flying faster than VNE, which I think he probably is, there is that risk.
    I don't have all info on VNE, and don't have time to research it right now; But one source says that manufactures leave a 10 % margin above started VNE for safety, also that VNE is based on true, not indicated airspeed.

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