'Unleashed' Finishes Sixth In The Sport Bronze
by ANN Associate Editor Mark Sletten
A happy sixth-place
finisher at Reno? Yup. It may seem strange, but Scott Germain --
Scotty G -- IS happy, and he DID come in sixth.
ANN spoke with Scotty G, the owner and pilot of Unleashed, a
modified Lancair 360. This is the second year at Reno for the
Unleased team, and they placed sixth overall in the Sport Class
Now why would we be doing a story about a team and airplane that
placed sixth? Well, actually, the story is about the engine.
Earlier this year, just before Sun-n-Fun in fact, Superior Air
Parts, approached Scotty and asked if he'd be interested in a new
engine for Unleashed. When they told him about an idea for a new
400-cubic inch barn burner, Scotty said, uh, YEAH!
Superior's XP-400 is very similar in external dimensions to the
Lycoming 360 series engines Scotty's Lancair is designed for, so
the installation, while not a cakewalk, was doable with
modifications to the cowling and intake system.
So what, you ask, what's so special about the engine? You
remember I said Superior approached Scotty with an IDEA for an
engine? Well, that's all they had, an idea. Between Sun-n-fun and
Reno, Superior, with a little help from parent company Thielert
turned that idea into an engine.
I know, I know... You still don't see what's so special, hold
on, I'm getting there!
Last year, Unleashed finished last place in the Sport Class
Bronze at an average speed of 233 miles per hour. This year, it
finished sixth, with an average speed of 259 miles per hour! The
only change to the aircraft, then to now, is the engine.
Scotty stressed that his is the only aircraft racing in the
Sport Class Bronze with a four-cylinder engine. And with a
four-cylinder engine, he edged out two others to take sixth -- the
first year with a new engine, designed, built, and installed in
less than six months. I'd say that's worth talking about!
Scotty said the engine performed flawlessly, never missing a
beat during any of the qualifying heats or the final Bronze
Scotty told ANN when people ask him how the engine is running he
always feels a little self-concious talking about how great it is.
"I'm being sponsored, so I'm supposed to say it's great. It would
be obvious if it wasn't because we wouldn't be racing. But I wish
someone had taken a picture of my face the first time I started it,
because this engine is very different from my previous one. It's
smooth, quiet and powerful of the box. I'm very impressed with this
engine... and I'm not being paid to say that!"
For now, Superior is holding details close to the vest. For
instance, they won't say how much horsepower Scotty's engine is
producing. In a press release, Superior says the stock XP-400 is to
be rated at 220 horsepower, but they acknowledge this engine isn't
Designated the XP-400 SRE, for Superior Racing Engine, among
other enhancements, it sports ten-to-one compression ratio
cylinders and a reworked camshaft profile.
The engine was built and tested by Superior's parent company
Thielert in Germany. Thielert's background is all about racing --
they started out as a boutique engine builder for European
And that's fine by us. We say let's have some of that Teutonic
magic for everyone!
(Aero-News thanks Chris Luvara of Stick And Rudder
Aviation Photography for the use of his
photos of Scotty G in action at Reno.)