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Lesher Teal

 

Lesh-Teal

 

The Lesher Teal, registered N4291C, was explicitly designed to break records in the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Class C1a, for propeller-driven aircraft of less than 500-kg (1102-lb.) gross weight.

The Teal retained the Nomad’s Continental O-200A power and all-aluminum pusher configuration, this time in a single-seat layout. Its wingspan is a diminutive 23 ft. 10 in. (by contrast, a Piper J3’s span is 35 ft. 3 in.).

At one point of the Teal’s design, Ed, who weighed well over 200 lb., considered using a jockey pilot. Instead, not wanting to miss the fun, he decided this was a good incentive to lose some weight.

The Teal first flew in April 1965.

In August 1965, Lesher piloted it to the EAA Fly-In in Rockford, Illinois, where he was honored for his achievements. Then he began attacking the FAI records.

In 1967, Lesher and his Teal set a Class C1a speed record for a 500-km closed course at 181.55 mph. Later that year, he flew the Teal at 169.20 mph for a new 1000-km closed-course record. Before the year ended, Lesher and the Teal averaged 141.84 mph for a new closed-course record of 2000 km.

In 1968, a loss of power brought the Teal to an emergency landing, and considerable damage, in a Michigan field. After a rebuild, Lesher and his Teal set another FAI record in 1970, this one for a closed-circuit distance of 1554.29 miles. In 1973, he and the Teal set a 3-km speed record of 173.101 mph as well as a 15-25-km record of 169.134 mph. Finally, the pair set an FAI C1a record for straight-line distance, officially 1835.459 miles, by traveling from Florida to Arizona.

For these record-breaking achievements, Lesher earned the FAI’s Louis Blériot Medal four times, in 1967, 1970, 1973 and 1975. He was inducted into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame in 1988.

The Lesher Teal has resided in the EAA Adventure Museum since 2002.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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