Following a busy 2011 air show season and coming off two years of racing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, Pete’s Edge 540 is getting a much needed off-season overhaul in preparation for the 2012 air show season.
“Flying coast-to-coast across Canada and pushing the Edge to the limits puts a lot of stress on the airframe, engine and propeller,” said McLeod from his hangar in London, Ontario. “We use the off-season and cold weather to take care of maintenance and upgrades the aircraft requires, ensuring peak performance for the entire upcoming season. I operate in unique circumstances compared to most types of aviation and the high standard of our maintenance program reflects that.”
, a leading aircraft maintenance facility and specialist in structural and modern composite work has been a long-standing partner and sponsor of Pete. XU’s team is once again helping with off-season maintenance to ensure the plane is ready for the upcoming season.
Famed engine builder Ken Tunnell of Ly-Con Aircraft Engines
of Visalia, California, (builder of Pete’s racing motor) is managing the engine overhaul.
“I push the Edge to its limits every time I strap-in so it takes a lot of abuse over the course of an air show season. Without the support and expertise of Chris and his team at XU Aviation I would not be able to push the airplane to the limits I do,” said McLeod.
Work is expected to wrap up within the next month ensuring Pete and his aircraft will be ready for the spring weather to arrive.
Did You Know?
of Guthrie, Oklahoma built Pete’s Edge 540, SN0025, in 1999 (Pete was 15 years old). Originally delivered to a customer in the United States, the aircraft was brought to Europe in 2004 by soon-to-be Red Bull Air Race World Champion Hannes Arch
In 2006, Kirby Chambliss
used the plane for the European races of his RBARWC title win.
2007 saw Hannes Arch, as a RBAR rookie, race the plane for a full season as he developed an improved Edge 540 to earn him the title in 2008.
Pete took ownership of the aircraft in 2009 as he prepared for his Red Bull Air Race rookie debut. McLeod raced and modified SN0025 throughout the 2009 and 2010 race seasons, ultimately taking him to a 5th place overall finish in the 2010 season.
With the arrival of the Edge 540 V3 to PMR’s stable, SN0025 was reconfigured for freestyle aerobatics and is now on active duty as Pete’s go-to aerobatic machine.