Aerodynamic Marvels


Reno Racers go to incredible lengths to gain a fraction of a mph on their rivals (I know that we use knots as a rule here at Kitplanes, because that is the standard aviation unit for sped - but racers do thing s a little differently. you see, the numbers are bigger if you use mph..). Take for example the golf ball dimpling on the upper outboard surface of the wing on Andrew Findley's super fast Lancair. Andrew has spared no expense to gain every fraction of a hair's breadth of available speed, like spending time on a NASA supercomputer to determine exactly the right depth for those four dimples just inboard of the fuel cap. Continue reading "Aerodynamic Marvels"

Reno - Right-sizing the Races

The new pit tents for the Sport class racers house one airplane each and the relocated grandstands in the pit area should be a fantastic place to watch the action!

It is no secret to those that attend the Reno Air Races every year that there has been some downsizing in recent years. It's not unexpected as the Unlimited Class has shrunk and the major players in previous years have now been retired - leaving what might actually prove to be a field that is better matched and could lead to some exciting racing! Nevertheless the Sport, Formula 1 and Biplanes classes - consisting mostly of homebuilts are going gangbusters with full fields and some planes put on standby in case one of the field breaks or can't show up! This is great for those mere mortals who are looking for a chance to just get out there and see how they do against other pilots and planes. Continue reading "Reno - Right-sizing the Races"

Look Ma - No Wings!

Something changed radically in the shop this past week - a milestone came and passed - and so did those huge long wings for the Xenos! Notice the workbench? No wings! With the help of a lot of airpark neighbors, we had a marathon month of drilling, deburring, and riveting, and the long motor glider wings are now tucked safely in their racks, awaiting installation in the fuselage - which now comes back to center stage as we pull out the drawings and figure out where we left off. Continue reading "Look Ma - No Wings!"


DAM windshield cleaner

One of my earliest "jobs" in aviation was as an unpaid (but compensated with experience and flight time) line-boy/hangar rat. I'm sure that was the first time I washed an airplane windshield, and I used whatever goop in a bottle was thrown at me by the FBO owner. In the many decades since, I have probably used just about every chemical available to clean windshields and windows, including good old H2O, and I am still looking for the magic elixir that simply makes deceased bugs and other debris leap off the canopy when it is merely brought out of the cupboard. I am still waiting - but a new product from McFarlane Aviation Products comes pretty DAM close! Continue reading "DAM!"

Sling TSi - New Four Place Cruiser

Sling TSi

Anyone who wandered through Kit Company Row at AirVenture in July probably saw the newest aircraft from The Airplane Factory - so new, in fact, that it hadn't flown yet when it arrived at the show. A four-place machine that outwardly looks a lot like the existing Sling 4, the new TSi actually shares only about 20% of the parts with the old design, with a completely new wing and sporting the Rotax 915is turbocharged engine and a constant speed prop. We were instantly struck with the concept, and got our name on the list to fly it as soon as we could. Continue reading "Sling TSi - New Four Place Cruiser"