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15 Hours, 3.156 gph in a Husky

Husky

May 19, 2009 — Indiana pilot Kris Maynard, EAA 751966, who last year established the world’s first official aviation fuel efficiency record in his factory-standard Aviat Husky A-1A, had another remarkably fuel-frugal flight in that airplane last week. On May 12, Maynard flew the Husky for 15 hours, 3 minutes and 20 seconds straight on a single tank of fuel, covering a circuit of more than 1,200 statute miles.

The airplane is equipped with a 52-gallon fuel tank powered by a Lycoming O-360 engine and a 76-inch Hartzell propeller. Fuel consumption was 3.156 gallons per hour (90 minutes of fuel remained upon landing), which calculated to 25.26 miles per gallon – exceeding the 23.4 mpg achieved in the record flight. His average ground speed was 68 kts, compared to a normal flight using 7.5 gph cruising at 105 kts.

“Most folks would not want to sit for 15 hours in an airplane,” Maynard said. “But during my test flights for last year’s record performance, I came to believe that the aircraft just might be capable of a 15-hour flight. I thought that such a capability would be rare among today’s general aviation - especially factory-built - aircraft, so I decided to pursue the goal.”

Maynard took off from Indianapolis Metropolitan (UMP) at 4 a.m. on May 12, and proceeded to Dayton, Ohio; Toledo; Coldwater, Michigan; South Bend, Indiana; Danville, Illinois; then back to Indy. He repeated that route, and added what he called “random offshoots to overfly points of interest because, one can become seriously bored in that amount of time.” He flew at altitudes below 7,000 feet, and logged critical engine parameters every 30 minutes, which helped keep him focused on continuing the flight.

Even though not a world record, Maynard remarked, “Near as I can tell, no one has ever done this in a Husky before.”

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