Video: Record-Breaking Flights Precede Experimental Fly-In

Renowned Reno air racer Lee Behel attempted three record-breaking flights in the past week in Mojave, California, flying his sexy single-place GP-5 race airplane. While the results have not yet been officially confirmed, the initial numbers are impressive.

Behel attempted three records, which have been recorded and are under review by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) — the World Air Sports Federation. The time to climb to 3,000 meters was unofficially completed in 2 minutes, besting the last record by 20 seconds. Behel also attempted two speed records. A speed of 329 knots was recorded for both the three-kilometer recognized course and for the 15-kilometer course record attempts.

The GP-5 is powered by an aftermarket, automotive Rodeck aluminum block Chevy V-8 engine driving an 84-inch propeller. The airplane was designed by George Pereira and built by Gary Childs. Its beautifully shaped fuselage and one-piece wing are mostly constructed of wood.

The GP-5 will be on display at the Mojave Experimental Fly-In this Saturday April 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, where several additional record attempts will be made by other airplanes and pilots, according to Elliot Seguin from Mojave-based Scaled Composites.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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