Updates from the Race Airport – Indianapolis
Pete McLeod: new propeller
McLeod decided to make minimal changes but routine maintenance has to happen to keep the raceplane airworthy. "We brought the plane straight from Austria to Indy, but we'll be busy after this weekend until Fort Worth, that's really our 'offseason'," said McLeod. "So all the work is being planned out for after this race."
There is one new addition to McLeod's Edge 540. He's put a new propeller on the raceplane, but McLeod explained that it's just a routine swap: "There's nothing important about a new propeller. It's just a regular maintenance cycle, but we did it now because we can't have any downtime so we just swapped one in. It's preventative more than anything."
Nicolas Ivanoff: new engine and propeller
Another team that made changes was Team Hamilton. But again they were more 'esseintal maintenance' than actual modifications to improve the raceplane. After Wiener Neustadt, Ivanoff's raceplane came straight to the US so Team Hamilton's technician Tom Fitzgerald could work on what needed doing – putting in a new engine and propeller. "We changed the engine because when we checked it in July we saw that one of the camshafts was used and needed replacing," said Fitzgerald. "As soon as we had time with the raceplane I replaced the engine and propeller. I installed it last Thursday, fresh for this race," he explained.
Yoshihide Muroya: new winglets
Yoshihide Muroya isn't afraid to make modifications to his raceplane. This season alone he's tried a new, smaller tail, a different cowling and now he's added new winglets. He's always stuck with his slightly raked wingtips, but he's always one to experiment. "If it works in FP 1 and 2, we'll keep them on. If we swap them over for FP3 it means they haven't worked," joked Muroya after the team were spotted adding the new tips to the plane.
"I arrived last Friday and tested them before I flew to Eagle Creek [the airport the pilots were at before flying into the Race Airport]. The handling is very similar, they're certainly flyable, but we don't know the speed yet. We'll see – they should be good," he concluded.
The pilots will be testing their new mods today in Free Practice 1 and 2. Follow how they get on right HERE.