The Next World Speed Record
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