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CEA-308 with Catto 58×69 prop
The design phase of the CEA-308 started in 1999 as Paulo Iscold’s undergraduate project. The construction of the design started in 2000 and used wood and steel for the fuselage with white foam formed in between bulkheads and stringers which was carved to shape and covered with fiberglass. The wing is built-up wood ribs and a wood spar; like the fuselage the spaces between the wood parts were filled with white foam which was carved to shape and covered with fiberglass.
Early CEA-308 2 cycle engine installation
The first flight was flown in 2002, powered by a Rotax 532. The intention was to do initial flight test with the 532 and install a 100hp Hirth 3701 (3 cylinder, 2 cycle) for the records. Early in the flight test program the Rotax 532 failed, while the pilot was able to save the airplane, the engine was lost. As a result, the project was shelved from 2002 until 2005 when Gúnar Armin (former Brazilian Aerobatic Champion) took interest in the project. At this time, the Hirth was still the engine of choice, but an undisclosed problem procuring a suitable engine forced the team to look into other engines. The Jabiru 2200 was selected and one was bought used, and installed in the airplane.
Professor Paulo Iscold and several of the students that helped build the CEA-308
Catto props are also a favorite for absolute speed and other records, where the prop can be optimized for a single flight condition. “Catto has been very supportive of our projects,” says Dr. Paulo Iscold, professor of aerodynamics at UFMG in Brazil, consultant to several Red Bull and Reno air race teams, and holder of four world records with his CEA-308. “The first prop that he sent for our 308 was almost perfect, and the second prop was better than perfect. I’m not afraid to say that Catto’s props are the best aerodynamic setup in the world today. He has been trying many different ideas through the years, and his propellers incorporate many features that are not listed in the usual literature. On the 308 I must remind you that we set the 3 km absolute speed record and the 3000 m time-to-climb record with the same prop!”
The Jabiru 2200 80 hp engine installation in the CEA-308
The Jabiru installation has been on the airplane ever since. Paulo did not say what happened to the exotic custom three bladed propeller they had designed and built for the Hirth. The records (all of which were in the C-1.a/0 weight class) were set on the 1st and 3rd of December 2010 and all attempts were flown by Gúnar on Craig Catto 58×69 propellers. The first flight of the day was the time to climb to 3000m. This was a Russian record and it stood at 13min 40 sec held by Mikhail Markov in a MAI-89 (Rotax 532 USSR 8/6/90). Mr. Armin’s attempt was successful (8 min 15sec), his record also eclipsed the American record (9 min 36 sec) held by Brian Dempsey in a Sonerai (VW 1600 Easton MD 2/19/89). The second record was the 15 km speed record which Gúnar set at 204 mph, previously 181 mph also held by Brian Dempsey in his same Sonerai on the same date and location. The final record set on the 1st of December was the 100 km speed record set at 202 mph, previously 184 mph set by Charles Andrews in the Monex (Aero Vee, Fond du Lac, WI 8/3/82). 
The CEA-308, Pilot Gúnar Armin, and Professor Paulo Iscold
The most impressive record setting attempt was on the second day of flying. On the 3rd of December the team tackled the 3km speed record. The record stood at 218 mph set by a BD-5B in Zeltweg Austria (8/28/99). The American record is slower still at 213 mph set by Mike Arnold’s AR-5 (now hanging in the Hiller museum). The CEA-308 took the record at 223 mph, thereby setting four records in two days of attempts. 
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