The official GFC results are now available in spreadsheet form. Here are some of my initial concerns. What is your reaction?
- The aircraft weights are not given.
- The distance numbers are confusing - wasn't it supposed to be a minimum of 200 miles for each run?
- The "distance for speed" numbers for all contestants are less than 200 miles.
- The Phoenix and the Embry-Riddle flew the economy leg at nowhere near 100 mph? Why?
- The Phoenix only got 55 ePMPG on the speed run at 137.5 mph. That's 27.5 mpg for the airplane. That is about 5 gph at 119.5 KTAS. I can do that in my RV-7A. This number seems way too low. CAFE tested an RV-9A at over 30 mpg.
- The Embry-Riddle speed run was at 83.5 mph and got only 32.5 airplane mpg. That's so slow it's below the best speed for L/D for many GA airplanes. If a Van's 7A flies 110 mph it should be able to get 27.7 airplane mpg (using factory specs). This is from an airplane with a glide ratio of about 10 whereas the Stemme starts with a ratio of about 50 and then it's diminished somewhat for cooling drag, etc. Of course, the ER airplane weighed more, but we don't know how much more because CAFE did not say.
I, for one, am very disappointed with NASA and CAFE for how this event was run. They have been secretive all along. The taxpayer's money should be used to advance GA. A free exchange of performance information, simple, factual information, should not be avoided but promoted. CAFE used to do this with their performance reports. I have no idea why the change in basic policy.
Just my 2 cents. What's yours?