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Apexcarver
Apexcarver SuperDork
6/8/09 8:22 p.m.

Friend thinks I'm an idiot because I have never in my life heard a term.

Please indicate if you know what "Airplane Gears" are in regards to American V8 sorts of cars

yes, I know what they supposedly are now. I didn't know and I grew up going to car shows and helped restore a 68 mustang when I was growing up.

So please respond if you do or don't know what that is referring to.

Again, "Airplane Gears"

argument evolved when I plugged the gear ratios he was planning to run into a calculator. limiting rpm to 5k (yeah, LOW), a TH350, and 4.11 gears.. I told him to have fun banging the rev limiter in top gear at 92mph.

I give up...

MrJoshua
MrJoshua SuperDork
6/8/09 8:38 p.m.

No clue.

Duke
Duke Dork
6/8/09 8:41 p.m.

I've been hanging around both civil aviation airports and home garages with American V8s in them for 40+ years, and I have never heard the term "airplane gears" until 17 seconds ago.

JFX001
JFX001 Dork
6/8/09 8:43 p.m.

Dunno. Maybe your friend is trying to put one over on you, or it's a local thing.

Osterkraut
Osterkraut Dork
6/8/09 8:45 p.m.

Airplane gears are really high gears. Like a 2.73:1 ratio.

No idea WHY they're called airplane gears.

You're buddy's wrong anyway.

M030
M030 Reader
6/8/09 8:48 p.m.

I think he means "airport gears" - my grandfather used to say that referring to cars with short gearing.

The cars he was usually talking about - Porsches, Healeys, MGs, etc - were presumably built to be "rallied" (I think that's what autocross must have been called in the 50's) and these "rallies" took place at airports.

I'm by no means an expert, so take this explaination with a grain of salt.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/8/09 8:54 p.m.

Never heard "airplane gears" before, but "airport gears" sounds plausible. Maybe even familiar.

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter HalfDork
6/8/09 9:06 p.m.

Count me in with the "ne'er heard it before"s.

Toyman01
Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/8/09 9:19 p.m.

+1 for the never heard of???

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/8/09 9:24 p.m.

Duh. Airplane gears.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro Reader
6/8/09 9:32 p.m.

Never heard that term before.

Shawn

Nitroracer
Nitroracer Dork
6/8/09 10:15 p.m.

I need to upgrade my 2.79 air plane gears to some 3.08 street gears of some uber special 4.11 race gears. Yerp.

Wally
Wally GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/8/09 10:16 p.m.

I think they are the little wheels on the bottom. I love when someone uses a term you've never heard and ramble on like your an idiot because you didn't know that their grandfather from Cow Patty, Wyoming had a funny name for cigarette lighters.

oldsaw
oldsaw Reader
6/8/09 10:30 p.m.
M030 wrote: I think he means "airport gears" - my grandfather used to say that referring to cars with short gearing. The cars he was usually talking about - Porsches, Healeys, MGs, etc - were presumably built to be "rallied" (I think that's what autocross must have been called in the 50's) and these "rallies" took place at airports. I'm by no means an expert, so take this explaination with a grain of salt.

You're on the right track - like Sebring for instance.

The higher ratios of "airport gears" allowed for higher top-end speeds that wouldn't be acquired with a standard gearset.

Acceleration at lower speeds was sacrificed because of the benefits of higher top speeds on courses with long straights - again, think Sebring.

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/8/09 10:40 p.m.

I have heard the term "alpine gears" meaning a high ratio that favors acceleration over top end. My fiat with it's .9 fifteh and 4.40to1 diff has been called a car with Alpine gears.

And yes, I think it is related to rallying

pete240z
pete240z Dork
6/8/09 10:53 p.m.

I have never seen that term and I have read most Hot Rod magazines, Autoweek, car/driver, road/track, GRM, CM, volkswagen mags, and the JC whitney catalog since around 1976.

oldsaw
oldsaw Reader
6/8/09 11:06 p.m.
pete240z wrote: I have never seen that term and I have read most Hot Rod magazines, Autoweek, car/driver, road/track, GRM, CM, volkswagen mags, and the JC whitney catalog since around 1976.

The "airport gear" terminology is essentially a Porsche-thing and originates from the mid-sixties when the factory offered optional packages to accommodate competitor's needs on different courses.

Try a Google search for ("airport gears" Porsche) and check the results. My memory and the search results support a decade-earlier reference.

slantvaliant
slantvaliant Reader
6/9/09 9:06 a.m.

I think the 2.47 gearset in my son's '77 Mercury Monarch would qualify. Oddly enough, the only time it ever raced (legally, that I know of, etc.) was in an autocross at ... an airport.

suprf1y
suprf1y Reader
6/9/09 9:08 a.m.

in 30+ years of hot rodding, I've never heard that before.

splitime
splitime New Reader
6/9/09 9:30 a.m.

Never heard the term.

TJ
TJ Reader
6/9/09 9:40 a.m.
Wally wrote: I love when someone uses a term you've never heard and ramble on like your an idiot because you didn't know that their grandfather from Cow Patty, Wyoming had a funny name for cigarette lighters.

I love it when I find out that they have high tech gadgets like cigarette lighters in Cow Patty, WY!

Never heard the term before this thread.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver SuperDork
6/9/09 9:53 a.m.
Osterkraut wrote: Airplane gears are really high gears. Like a 2.73:1 ratio. No idea WHY they're called airplane gears. You're buddy's wrong anyway.

This is what my friend is saying they are.

He is furthermore saying that it is GM specific because the gears were also used in an aircraft application. Frankly, I dont see where a ring and pinion would be used on an aircraft.

I am crying baloney on that one.

Thanks for the responses, I dont think I am full of myself to say that I know a good bit about cars in general. Lots of this could be because I grew up in Ohio and am in Western Maryland now (different regional terms) (I had also never heard shopping carts referred to as "buggies" or of ordering your eggs "dippy")

jde
jde Reader
6/9/09 10:55 a.m.

Adding to Osterkraut's description, my dad uses "airplane gears" to describe a tall final gear/overdrive such that a car cruises interstate speeds at a relatively low RPM.

Edit: Basically agreeing with nitroracer as well. Missed that post originally.

FindlaySpeedMan
FindlaySpeedMan New Reader
6/9/09 11:12 a.m.

Sounds like a real oldskool term.

Me=Lots of time around cars, immersed in car literature, etc.

Never heard the term till now. Just Tall and Short.

CrackMonkey
CrackMonkey HalfDork
6/9/09 11:24 a.m.

Never heard of airplane gears, or any of the other terms mentioned.

"Airport gear ratios" appears to be a term used to describe Porsche's recommended gear set for the 901 when run on airport-based tracks.

"Airplane gears" and "airplane gear ratios" don't return anything when Googled.

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