The STIHL National Championship Air Races are back at Reno, NV, and Jetlaw’s One More Race 27 team is faster than ever.
During the last two years, the team overhauled the Continental O-200 engine, built a new carbon fiber cowling, redesigned the canopy to reduce drag and increase the pilot’s visibility, updated the avionics, and recovered the fabric fuselage. The crew also repainted the aircraft.
Carbon fiber application. The cowling, wing, turtle deck, and wheel pants are carbon fiber.
The team’s skilled mechanics and engineer carefully built up the carbon fiber so that the canopy handle is flush with the body, reducing drag.
A new impact-resistant fuel tank (top) improved safety.
Before painting the carbon fiber (and with a base coat of silver paint on the fabric), the team performed a series of engine ground tests. The team analyzed the engine’s telemetry to fine-tune the exhaust system, the engine’s timing, and air intake volume.
The aircraft glistens with a fresh coat of paint. The wing is removed in preparation for loading the aircraft into its transport trailer. The crew’s driver moves the airplane over 2,600 miles from its home base in Manassas, VA to Reno, NV.
The wing on its cradle, waiting to be loaded into the trailer.
The crew converts a standard, enclosed trailer by installing a wing cradle (cushioned with foam) and hard points on the floor to tie down the aircraft. A series of ratcheting straps securely hold the airframe and wing in place for its long trip over the Rockies. The crew uses the remaining trailer space to transport tools and everything else that they will need to keep the aircraft in racing condition for race week.