Lavelle breaks sport class speed record at Reno; Glasair celebrates

Jeff Lavelle upped the ante this year at the Reno Air Races, setting a new Sport Class qualifying record at 362.481 mph in a Glasair III.

Glasair celebrated the feat this week in an announcement, including the release of the above photo.

The statement noted that the Lavelle achieved a faster speed than any of the burlier aircraft in the Super Sport Class. It also outpaced 14 of 24 entrants in the Unlimited Class, which included P-51 Mustangs, a Fockewulf, a P40 and an F4U Corsair. 

Following the qualifying record, Lavelle went on to capture first place in each heat of the Sport Class races, including the Sport Class Gold race.

"I’m proud to be a part of putting Glasair back in the winner’s circle – and I had a lot of fun doing it,” the pilot said in the statement.


This marks the second year that a Glasair broke the class speed record. 

Lavelle’s Glasair III is a factory stock airframe powered by a twin turbocharged Lycoming TIO-540 engine developed by Grant Semanskee of Snohomish, Wash.

Last month, during the Reno Air Races, we also linked to a post highlighting former astronaut Curt Brown setting a speed record of 543.568 mph in an L-29. Read more about his feat here.