That is irrelevant. The R-2800 engine is still a perfectly good choice for an unlimited racer today, just as it was after WW2.
The problem with your idea is that the Brewster Buffalo is by far not the correct design for a racer. It was not a particularly fast aircraft at any time since it was first flown, and this has not changed in the last 80 years. Considering how few Buffalo's were built, and how few survive today, it would be a poor decision on every level, from historic preservation to racing competition.
The R-2800, mounted on another aircraft that is farl ess historically significant or rare (The Yak-11 trainer) has created a very usuable and competitive unlimited racer.
Making a purpose built racing airframe, using modern materials and engineering, and modern aerodynamic analysis methods, could easily yield a 500 MPH racer.
Reno Racers: Very high level development, but innovation ????
Sheeessh !!! And youse-guys want to build just another almost-the-same ‘critter’ as everyone else is flying ???? !!!!
It comes to my mind that the only significant innovative ‘things’ which I have seen there are vapor phase cooling, and (years ago), the clean-sheet Pond Racer.
At Reno, I was talking with an Aerothermodynamicist, (my thesis field) whose name, I no longer recall, but his was on more than half of the landing gear doors present.
My question was about vapor phase cooling endurance, and he noted that at low power, it was pretty good, with the P51 – so rigged -- having flown from Portland to Van Nuys.
The Pond Racer sounded like an immense window fan. He remarked that they were going to need to automate a lot more things, because the pilot workload with cooling doors and spray nozzles and all else was overwhelming. Unfortunately, no longer needed.
The Reno Go-Fast Sports Racer Rules: … ‘Aircraft are to be powered by an internal combustion engine or engines totaling no more than 1000 cu in.’
I’ve neither seen, nor heard any talk about a pair of 495 cu/in seriously hot engines installed in an appropriate --- say a tandem engine / tilt-wing / extension shaft airplane.
Of course, the extension shaft is no casual thing. A comprehensive dynamic analysis is in order, along with appropriately measured results. The development of such may well be made easier by using a clutch to de-couple the shaft during start, and up to some certain rpm.
BTW, a seriously dangerous soul is one with a shop full of high tech tools who can craft a PSRU, but is ‘unlettered’ in his ability to technically analyze the dynamics of his ‘creation’, nor is he capable of measuring the result.
Tandem engines were figured out by Bugatti 80 years ago. Too bad that the beautiful replica airplane did not have a proper dynamic shaft analysis / measurement. What I read about the loss was ‘clutch failure’. I’ll bet that a lot of unplanned for torsional dynamics were very involved with that clutch failure.
The wetted surface of such an airplane could be about the same as a single engine critter, and with twice the HP, I suggest that a well-done airplane like that would absolutely rule the Sport Racers, and scare the crap out of the unlimited guys.
WHY is such an airplane not seen??? I cannot be the only guy to have had such ideas.
I believe that there is plenty of $$$ in the hands of the Reno Racers to do such. ??????