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Challenge: Beat Strega

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12notes

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I have thought a lot about an alternative race set up for Formula 1. With the red bull air show in mind. I don't mind that they call it a race but the Red Bull show is like drifting to me. You take a vehicle around a set of points in a controlled manner so speed isn't necessarily the goal. Still very fun to watch.

My idea is more like autocross in particular pro solo. Two mirror image courses where two planes can go head to head around pylons in opposite directions. This would allow the spectators to see who won immediately. The course could then include turns in both directions and ideally a turn around point that would allow for a vertical element. The last part of my plan is that this should be a course that 90% of the pilots flying F1 could do. No knife edge gates and 10g pulls and definetly no inverted stuff.

At reno they have T-6 head to head racing and it's fun to watch, but they still have to clear each other in and the course forces one to the outside. A dual with opposing courses would be too big for T-6s but for F1 it could fit in their area.
I like the idea, I'd probably want to try it myself!

The final turns would be a bit dicey, two low or mid wing aircraft moving closer to each other while banked away from each other. Neither pilot will be able to see the other plane, if one goes wide in the last turn, it could be disastrous. Course design may be able to fix it with a long straight then a shallow angle final turn. Separation of the courses by a large distance would also help, but that would be way more confusing for the spectators, as anyone not directly on the finish line would have a large parallax angle.
 

tspear

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I like the idea, I'd probably want to try it myself!

The final turns would be a bit dicey, two low or mid wing aircraft moving closer to each other while banked away from each other. Neither pilot will be able to see the other plane, if one goes wide in the last turn, it could be disastrous. Course design may be able to fix it with a long straight then a shallow angle final turn. Separation of the courses by a large distance would also help, but that would be way more confusing for the spectators, as anyone not directly on the finish line would have a large parallax angle.
have the courses be inverted from each other and approach the final line from opposite directions.

Tim
 

Mark Schoening

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Speaking strictly for myself, Love the big radials, the huge cubic inch displacement engine RUMBLING by...the prop noise, the petrol leaving as huge carbon footprint noise, the size and colors of the flying billboards.
Can't see my self getting excited by super sleek Ferrari types whistling by with prop noise, a swoosh, and a Hummmmmm.........Sorry, old technology is my thing.
The younger generation of electronics and new space age technologies buffs will have to produce the excitement they crave....sophisticated, highly advanced, environmentally acceptable, and well beyond my diminutive comprehension.
But then, I'm stuck in a pothole on the electronic highway...............
 

RJW

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Here’s one for that 1000HP V8. Too light for unlimited but would be fun in the Sport Class. Wouldn’t have very good visibility down and forward. But with a thousand horsepower maybe that wouldn’t be a real problem.

Rob


FSS 6.jpg
 

wwalton

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Speaking strictly for myself, Love the big radials, the huge cubic inch displacement engine RUMBLING by...the prop noise, the petrol leaving as huge carbon footprint noise, the size and colors of the flying billboards
Me too and I hope it continues for a long time. This thread is about beating Strega so sorry for the off topic post maybe this needs a new thread. I can see the sport and F1 classes expanding but the unlimited class is shrinking perhaps the way to go faster is to get money into air racing from new sources. EV is all the buzz in many racing arenas, it may bring the funds to challenge Strega.
 

Toobuilder

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I think an F1E class is great... Not that I'd be particularly interested in watching it, but as a way to grow new tech, sure. There should be a thread for that. Mod's - want to break it out of this one so us Neanderthals can continue with dreams of pistons, noise and huge carbon footprints?
 

Toobuilder

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...but the unlimited class is shrinking perhaps the way to go faster is to get money into air racing from new sources...
Unlimiteds are shrinking because the ready supply of dirt cheap airframes and brand new pickled surplus parts are gone. This was an inevitable result. Dump 20,000 surplus warbirds on the market today for $10 grand each and see what the Unlimited field looks like in 2 years.

More prize money would be great, but there are plenty of people who will do the air race thing for "fun". I'd think there is more than a few Sport class racers who would LOVE to be the first to best the absolute propeller speed record. At that point Warbirds are obsolete, and further Unlimited races will just be a warbird parade around the pylons for old times sake.
 

Toobuilder

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Here’s one for that 1000HP V8. Too light for unlimited but would be fun in the Sport Class. Wouldn’t have very good visibility down and forward. But with a thousand horsepower maybe that wouldn’t be a real problem...
I think it would have better fwd and down visibility than the current NXT.

But why reinvent the wheel? Does your design beat the current "best" aero designs? I would think the NXT airframe has to be about the best of what's available now. Anybody know the drag numbers and could extrapolate what a 1,000 HP NXT would do? How about 1,500? How much HP would it take to run to it's theoretical design limit of 550?
 

Tiger Tim

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How much HP would it take to run to it's theoretical design limit of 550?
This ought to be a contender to see just how fast that airframe can go:

The TPE331-10 installed on it has a thermodynamic limit of 1000hp although we've had some come back from the test cell that had run around 1200 wide open.
 

RJW

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I think it would have better fwd and down visibility than the current NXT.

But why reinvent the wheel? Does your design beat the current "best" aero designs?
It’s not really a design. It’s a general arrangement—just a sketch for generating ideas.

It’s not really reinventing the wheel. The idea is to build a plane that is optimized for a particular type of engine. The NXT was designed for an air-cooled motor. Bolting a V8 to an NXT wouldn’t result in an optimized package. An airframe (especially one for racing) should be designed to take advantage of the benefits of the particular type of motor to be used.

My “belief” is that an airplane designed around a high-powered V8 and given the same attention that was spent on the NXT would be faster. It would almost certainly be faster than a NXT with a V8 conversion.

Somebody started bolting a big block Chevy (or maybe an LS?) to an NXT a few years ago. I recall some pics that didn’t look very promising. I don’t know what became of the project. Tall V8s don’t fit well into spaces designed for flat motors.

Rob
 

Toobuilder

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Point taken, but a LS in particular is very close to the same height (overall) as a typical AC flat engine -- and MUCH narrower. Would not be optimal to retrofit for sure, but not an aerodynamic sin either.
 
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rv6ejguy

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The Questair Venture and NXT pretty much run the same speed- about 425-430 mph (straightline)with around 800hp at 8000 feet DA. My guess is Jeff's Glasair is in the same ballpark. The Lancair Legacys are right there too, maybe 10 mph slower on the same hp.

If we look at the GP5, it ran 377mph on around 525hp. This airframe is noticeably smaller and narrower than the others, being a single place design. If we extrapolate to 800 hp, it would be at around 434 mph, so essentially the same. The cowling was wrapped around the V8 engine and the airframe could not be much smaller. It had a good rad layout for low drag.

All this suggests that with all the current tractor designs, drag is pretty similar and with this layout, you're gonna need more power to go faster. With 1000hp, you'd see around 463 mph on these designs. To run 550mph, you'd need around 1650 hp which is no problem with a big Mountain Motor running about 35 inches and moderate rpms.
 

RJW

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A V8 installation and a reclining human can be wrapped in about the same shape. Use a shoulder wing and well-designed leading-edge radiators and it looks like you will have about the lowest drag arrangement running in a tractor setup (assuming proper aero design). It’s hard to imagine something with less frontal area. 1000HP would scoot something like this through the air pretty quickly I think.

Rob

FSS 7.jpg
 

BoKu

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Look how small the GP-5 is.
There seems to be this funny effect that causes powerful machines to grow larger in the imagination. The Pond Racer was also quite small. And the first time I stood next to a Porsche 917, I thought it was a scale replica--it seems so massive in video, but the actual car is little larger than a 914.
 

rv6ejguy

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Speaking of the Pond Racer. Here are some photos from my archives. This had the closest cowled engines I've ever seen in my life. It had huge spinners and the cowling lines flowed from those tightly over the Nissan V6s. It sounded awesome with both props in synch.

pond11.jpg pond12.jpg pond13.jpg pond14.jpg

Shooting into the sun so the lighting is not good. I've tried to enhance them as much as possible with a photo editor.
 
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Topaz

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Speaking of the Pond Racer. Here are some photos from my archives. This had the closest cowled engine I've ever seen in my life. It had huge spinners and the cowling lines flowed from those tightly over the Nissan V6s.

View attachment 66261 View attachment 66262 View attachment 66263 View attachment 66264

Shooting into the sun so the lighting is not good. I've tried to enhance them as much as possible with a photo editor.
I was at the 1992 race, and saw it fly. You're right - tightest cowls I've ever seen. When they pulled them off, only the texture and color seemed to change. The shape of the engines, ducting, etc. was the same underneath, almost a solid mass!
 

Toobuilder

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Ross, you have mentioned "Mountain Motors" a few times now... Are you talking about a true IHRA style 700+ cube, or just referencing "big ish" V-8's. The reason I ask is because the true tall deck big blocks are pretty exotic beasts, created mainly to get by without forced induction. Seems like with your background you'd be looking at a more common 500 inch unit and lean on it with boost.
 

rv6ejguy

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Ross, you have mentioned "Mountain Motors" a few times now... Are you talking about a true IHRA style 700+ cube, or just referencing "big ish" V-8's. The reason I ask is because the true tall deck big blocks are pretty exotic beasts, created mainly to get by without forced induction. Seems like with your background you'd be looking at a more common 500 inch unit and lean on it with boost.
Since the thread started out as unlimited budget and competing at 4500 pounds, seems you'd need 3000 hp to beat Strega soundly in a purpose built airframe. Can't do that easily IMO with 500 inches. I'm a big fan of what Sonny Leonard has done for decades in many different types of racing. Simply seems like a big, strong, proven engine is the way to get lots of power with good reliability. I'd take one of the 727 inch marine engines, add turbos, reduce the cam lift, spring pressures and lower the rpms. This would do the job in a purpose built airframe I think in Sport Class to take the Reno lap record from Strega. To Race in Unlimited with a larger airplane meeting the 4500 pounds weight limit, you'd probably need something like the 860 inch engine to win.

You can get stupid amounts of power with turbocharging as long as the engine is strong enough. Much more efficient than the supercharging system used on the race Merlins.
 

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