GameBird GB1 Certified For Sale In U.S.

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The British-designed but now Bentonville, Arkansas-manufactured GameBird GB1 received its FAA Part 23 type certificate on Wednesday. The GB1 is certified for unlimited aerobatics—plus or minus 10G. To be certified to that staggering load factor, a GB1 airframe was tested repeatedly to plus then minus 11.7G, with three trips to plus and minus 16G, culminating in a test to 19G with the airframe heated to 160 degrees to soften the carbon fiber—all without failure. Despite the hardcore aerobatic strength Game Composites is pitching the aircraft as an all-around performer.

By removing a 25-pound weight from the tail, pilots can move the aircraft center of gravity forward enough to make the GB1 a stable cross-country aircraft capable of 200-knot cruise with a 1,000-NM range—though with precious little space for luggage. The baggage compartment is rated for a maximum of 30 pounds. When operated as an aerobatic category aircraft (plus or minus 6G, rather than the 10G for unlimited aerobatics), the maximum takeoff weight is increased by 260 pounds to give a full-fuel useful load of 418 pounds in a two-seat airplane. With a base price of $400,000, the company is hoping the GameBird will find wide adoption, from initial tailwheel and aerobatic training up through unlimited competitive aerobatics. 

Comments (1)

Carbon fiber is not damaged by 160F. Carbon fiber is carburized at around 1250F in an N2 atmosphere and Graphitized at around 4350F in in an Ar atmosphere, so 160F is a no brainer. It is the resin matrix which holds the fibers together that is organic based, usually an epoxy that will lose strength with temperature.
All of that said, it is really immaterial to the user which fails first while flying along. The correct statement is raised the test temperature to 160F to evaluate the strength of the composite. That black aluminum is neat stuff when used as designed.
One would sure look nice sitting in my hangar, if I had one.

Posted by: Leo LeBoeuf | September 2, 2017 9:17 PM    Report this comment

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