Hi, folks. My name is Mike Arnold. This is my little airplane. I was a filmmaker in San Francisco before I designed and built the AR-5, set a world speed record, and won the Louis Bleriot Medal. What a thrill! This is the story of the AR-5:
“NAA SELECTS 10 MOST MEMORABLE RECORD FLIGHTS OF 1992 (Jack Cox, Sport Aviation Magazine, April, 1993) From all the record flights made in 1992, ranging from modeling to spaceflight, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has selected the 10 most memorable, and one of them was Mike Arnold’s world speed record in the FAI’s Class C1.A/O for aircraft weighing less than 661 pounds at takeoff. Mike and his AR-5 were featured in our January ‘93 issue (page 34). The AR-5 has set the aeronautical engineering world on its ear because it is apparently the first airplane to break one of aircraft design's most durable barriers by having a flat plate drag area of less than one square foot. A number of noted aerodynamicists, including Bruce Carmichael and Alex Strojnik, have examined the airplane and determined that, indeed, its flatplate area is less than one square foot...about .88 square foot. Perhaps the most amazing to them is the fact that the aircraft was designed and built by a person with no engineering background, using only a few standard texts and EAA manuals for reference. The message once again is that if given sufficient freedom, which is what the FAA’s current homebuilt rules allow, individuals can do wondrous things. Congratulations again, Mike! J.C.”
Because I was a filmmaker, it was natural for me to keep a video record of the design and construction process. From those records, we put together four informative video tapes. We digitally remastered the tapes in 2008 and now offer them as DVDs.
"This four tape collection is a great study in highly efficient aerodynamic design and provides a great explanation and demonstration on how to construct with composite materials." Ben Owen, Sport Aviation Magazine, Mar '97
Some AR-5 Images
Some High res images of the finished airplane and some Construction pics
Magazine Articles about the AR-5 published since 1993
The AR-5, Getting The Most Out Of 65 HP, Mike Arnold, Sport Aviation Magazine, Jan. 1993
Getting to know the AR-5, Bruce Carmichael, Kitplanes Magazine, Oct. 1993
The hottest airplane money can't buy, Robert Goyer, Sport Pilot Magazine,May 1994
Drag Analysis of the Arnold AR-5 Airplane, Bruce Carmichael, CONTACT Magazine, Jan. 1994
Crockett Rocket (Pilot Report), Peter Lert, Air Progress Magazine, July1995
At last, something worthwhile for us couch potatoes (Video Reviews,Tape 1, Why it goes so fast, and Tape 2, How it's made),Peter Lert, Air Progress Magazine, July 1995
Builder's Bookshelf (Video Reviews, Tape 3, Moldless, low drag wheelpants, and Making Fiberglass Molds), Dave Martin, Kitplanes Magazines, Aug. 1996
Checking out a Record Setter (Pilot Report) , Dave Martin, Kitplanes Magazine, Oct. 1999
The AR-5 has been donated to the Hiller Aviation Institute through the generosity of the Lyn and David Berelsman Foundation, and is on permanent display at the Hiller Museum in San Carlos, CA. Please stop and visit if you're in the area. It's a very interesting collection.
The AR-6, my Formula 1 racer design, flew for the first time in April, 2005. The airplane is currently owned by Steve Senegal of San Bruno, CA. It was built and raced by David Hoover in 2005, 2006, and 2007, finishing second in the first two races and first in the Gold race in 2007. In 2008 new owner Steve Senegal took the plane to victory again in the Gold race, and in 2009 he qualified first but had engine problems and did not finish the Gold race. He won again in 2010. He was top qualifier in 2011, but the races were cancelled after the tragic crash of an unlimited racer into the spectator's area. In 2012 "Endeavor" set a new race-lap record of 260.775mph, and won the Gold race again. In 2013 it qualified first but engine issues caused Steve to finish second in the Gold race.
For more information about the AR-6, see articles below:
"Sportsman Pilot" magazine article about the AR-6, by Jack Cox, Winter 2006
"Today's Pilot" magazine article about the AR-6, by Michael Friend, March 2006
Some pics of the AR-6 in white primer.
Some pics of the AR-6 at Reno (The last three pictures are of Ed Rankin's beautiful 42% scale model of the AR-6. Clocked at 196mph! Find out more about Giant Scale air racing here.)
NEW! (Jan,'13) We've just finished a movie showing how we made the master plug for the curvaceous, molded fuselage of the AR-6. It's called, "Making a molded fuselage-Shaping the AR-6"
I'm forever indebted to my good friends for their labors on the video tapes, as well as on this webpage. The webpage itself is the creation of world renowned inventor and video artist, Ed Tannenbaum. I couldn't have done it without him. Thanks for everything, ET.