The Next World Speed Record

Air & Space Smithsonian - - Front Page - BY ERIC STE­WART

Has a young Brazil­ian pro­fes­sor cre­ated the fastest race­plane in its class?

late last year in Divi­nop­o­lis, Brazil, a small, slip­pery race­plane took to the air for the first time in the ex­pe­ri­enced hands of former Brazil­ian aer­o­batic cham­pion Gú­nar Ar­min. Its name, is Por­tuguese for

Anequim, mako, the fastest shark in the ocean, and this air­plane is in­deed a ruth­less preda­tor in form and func­tion. From tip to cau­dal tail, it weighs less than 730 pounds—and nearly half that is the en­gine. Its fins are lam­i­nar flow air­foils, within 0.002 inch of per­fect smooth­ness, with a third the drag of the con­ven­tional wings of a Cessna. A highly mod­i­fied 278-horse­power, four-cylin­der Ly­coming will gnash through the air at nearly 350 mph. And when it rises up from the jun­gle into calm air,

Anequim will be on the hunt for no less than five world records.

The first flight lasted 13 min­utes and achieved a top speed of 269 mph on lit­tle more than half power. Ar­min re­ported it han­dled beau­ti­fully. But when he at­tempted to ex­tend flaps to slow for land­ing, there was sud­denly a loud pop.

The pop came from a flap pushrod that wasn’t screwed tightly enough into its ac­tu­a­tor and was ripped out when the pi­lot tried to lower the flaps. With no flaps, a plane as slick as eats up


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