Manufacturer: Gamebird GB-1 Pilot Made Record Flight to UP.Summit

Game Composites says its aerobatic Gamebird aircraft’s speed, range, and comfort make it a practical traveler.

A GB1 GameBird in Flight

The GB1 is uncommon in that it is FAA-certificated and designed to perform unlimited aerobatics. [Courtesy: Game Composites]

Pilots often seek out ways to get the most out of their aircraft, especially when traveling long distances. So why not set a record while getting to a far-off destination?

That’s what Ben Marcus did while flying his aerobatic Gamebird GB1 nonstop from Santa Monica, California, to Bentonville, Arkansas, according to the aircraft’s maker, Game Composites. Marcus made the flight to attend this week’s UP.Summit, an annual gathering aimed at fostering innovative transportation and hosted by the investment firm UP.Partners.

Marcus, a managing partner with the firm, flew the 1,226-nm route VFR in six hours and 50 minutes at an average ground speed of 185 kts using long-range power settings. After the flight, he said the Gamebird is “fast, fun, strong and comfortable enough for a nearly seven-hour flight.”

The GB1 is uncommon in that it is FAA-certificated and designed to perform unlimited aerobatics. Traditionally, such aircraft operate in the experimental category. For power, the GB1 uses a Lycoming AEIO-580-B1A rated at 303 hp. The airplane has a top speed of 235 kts and draws fuel from two 28-gallon wing tanks and a 25-gallon acro tank. Its fuel capacity and comfortable cockpit make it especially practical for traveling, the company said.

“No aerobatic airplane offers this combination of versatility, aerobatic performance, speed and comfort,” said Philipp Steinbach, founder and CEO of Game Composites.

Regarding the Gamebird’s record, Steinbach said it is unofficial. “It was not submitted to the [National Aeronautic Association] as a formal record. However, as far as we are aware, it is one of the longest nonstop cross-country flights the GB1 has accomplished and demonstrates the versatile mission capability of the aircraft.”

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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