Goulian: We’re thinking of winglets

For the start of the 2015 season, Michael Goulian invested in a new aircraft that had been specifically built for air racing – but he knew he still needed to make some changes straight away.

"As soon as we got the raceplane into our hangar we did an unbelievable number of modifications in a short amount of time," said Goulian.

Goulian's team managed to strip more than 80lbs of weight out of the Edge V2, make a custom engine cowling, custom landing gear and new wheelpants. The raceplane has also been given a totally new interior and avionics suite, titanium firewall, lots of carbon fibre mods and a new custom-built V3-style canopy that will be installed for Chiba. But even after all these changes, Goulian is thinking of one more major modification – adding winglets!

"It's no secret that teams have made modifications to their wings for this season," said Goulian. "I know we're only one race in, but Matt Hall seems to have jumped a level since he added winglets," he said.

Despite already spending huge sums of money for this season, Goulian thinks it might be worth making further investment. "We have spent an unbelievable amount, but those costs include a design for wingtips," explained Goulian. He is keeping quiet about whether he will implement them onto his Edge. "It will mean a lot of further investment to actually apply the winglets. So I'm going to look and see how we're performing after the next race or two and decide if we want to continue with the development."

Team Goulian decided they needed to change their raceplane before the start of this season. He didn't buy the sought-after Edge V3, he found a highly modified V2 that had the wing from the two-seat version and was the former raceplane of Kirby Chambliss.

"We knew we really needed to upgrade the machine last year, but there is a long lead time to get a V3 developed and built," explained Goulian. "This aircraft was available. It was built as a raceplane, not an aerobatic aircraft. So a lot of attention had been paid to it. And Kirby has a special relationship with Zivko, so I know a lot of care was taken to build it," he added.

Goulian's long-term plan is to have a V3 as a raceplane, but he wants to go through the process properly. He didn't see much of an advantage of having a new aircraft that has come straight out of the box. "I look at Pete, Kirby and Hannes, these guys have had the V3 for a while. They are settled into them and have done a lot of design work already. So even though we would have a V3, it wouldn't be as capable," explained Goulian. "That didn't seem like a good idea. We want a new raceplane ready for 2017, so the new V3 will be built this year, modified throughout 2016, to be put in place and ready to race in 2017," he concluded.

2015 modifications

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