Mike Goulian • February 10, 2016
When fans see Goulian's race plane in Abu Dhabi, it's gone through so many changes that it will look like a completely new aircraft. At the start of the off-season in November 2015, Goulian's #99 raceplane was already slated for a major modification program. As one of few Edge V2 aircraft left on the race circuit, the team knew that in order to compete on a level playing field, work had to be done, and fast.
The Red Bull Air Race website's article of the modification program gives insight as to the work that has been done over the last few months.
At the moment we're looking at every little piece of the raceplane," says Goulian. "We're giving it a complete overhaul. Next year you'll see a re-designed canopy, a re-designed turtle deck [the raised hump on a fuselage just behind the cockpit opening], a re-designed belly panel, a re-designed cowling, re-designed air intakes; the lot. Everything is being re-done just to find that extra 1.5 seconds." Goulian hints that his raceplane's canopy and turtle deck will look a lot like Paul Bonhomme's sleek 2015 setup.Team Goulian is also looking to follow in the footsteps of Nigel Lamb and Matt Hall by adding winglets, as well as wingtips. [source: Red Bull Air Race]
The raceplane will be shipped to the 1st race in Abu Dhabi in less than 2 weeks. All major modifications are complete and flight testing has begun to work out any bugs. "Already we've seen that the Edge is faster than last season," says Goulian, "we can't wait to get it out on the track in Abu Dhabi to see how increased speed translates to decreased time during a race."
One of the changes you won't see from the outside is the brand new installation of a Garmin G3X Touch glass panel in the cockpit. With just about every instrument within reach on one multi-function display, including weather and traffic alerts, Goulian is able to configure the screen to his liking and change the screen for cross-country flights and races with the essential displays.
"Credit is due to my team that hasn't taken a break since Las Vegas to do whatever it takes to win. The team, together with our race partners Cirrus Aircraft, Hartzell Propeller, and Bose have been incredible all winter. They definitely have racing in their blood" - Goulian
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