Unlimited Air Racing Dead?

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Riggerrob

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After watching the demo flight of the F35A Lightning I asked myself what if 7 of those went around an 8 mile course around pylons ? then I suppose the 450-500 mph wouldn't seem so great. Maybe that's were air racing is heading ? I'd like to see 5 stock Mini Max or SSSC type craft like Pops built to make some laps just to make the sport reachable for all pilots without owning a bank.
What if the USAF competed against the USN and USMC with the occassional guest competitor from Australia or the UK ... all flying almost stock F-35s?
 

Riggerrob

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The problem about racing is this. The crowd wants to see packs of ten almost bumping into each other with lots of passing. Racers want to buy a victory and have no one close; they want the best so there is no contest.

Whatever direction you make a rule to address, you will have people hate it. Racers and watchers love creative rule interpreting; promoters call it cheating. Drama is what people want. Internal and external. People getting away with something and getting caught is what everyone loves. A story. Strip it all away and no one cares. NASCAR is about to find out about this in a big way with their new rules next year.
What if each class had manifold pressure limits?
You could easily install manifold pressure sensors in manifolds, then instantly down-load them to judges. If you add in an app, spectators can even monitor MP on their cell-phones.
Then you would see bleachers full gen-xers staring at their cell photos instead of those noisy things flying around pylons.
Hah!
Hah!
 

Victor Bravo

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What if the USAF competed against the USN and USMC with the occasional guest competitor from Australia or the UK ... all flying almost stock F-35s?
That's called the Red Flag event, also happens in Nevada, but tickets are a little more expensive and harder to come by than Reno or Red Bull :)
 

TFF

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If I was starting a new racing class, I would be based on engine limits. I would not put turbos against naturally aspirated. I would have two different classes. Make up some arbitrary airframe limitation like turbo planes are fixed gear and natural aspirated has to have retracting gear. That way you could tell the difference at a glance on the course. All rules are arbitrary unless they came about because of safety. Cubic inch limits and turbo sizes. Racings only limit is money. Money will
Be spent. You have to limit the value of the money some way but make it fun to build a race plane.

Running the FV was probably like when Indy car split in the 90s. A base fan doesn’t know the difference between FV and F1. Except for a few pioneers who can whittle a winning engine out of bubble gum, it wasn’t all that cheaper than F1. F1needs a slab wing class so they don’t have to run with the long wings now.

Personally the biplane is my favorite, but like F1 the more stock planes should not be racing the crazy ones. They need to be split up. I like the modified stock planes.

The government use to bring jets to Cleveland. At the time, there were no private jet racers because the planes were still current fighters.
 

Riggerrob

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A few years back, some one tried to revive the old Schneider Cup Races. Competitors had to be seaplanes that could operate from a Northern Italian lake. They were also limited to ultra-lights. I think that Rotax 912 was the largest engine used.
This concept has three advantages.
First, it can compete in any city that has a lake, river or ocean-front.
Secondly, slow ultralights can turn pretty tight.
Third, if an engine quits, they can safely land on the river.
 

Kiwi303

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A few years back, some one tried to revive the old Schneider Cup Races. Competitors had to be seaplanes that could operate from a Northern Italian lake. They were also limited to ultra-lights. I think that Rotax 912 was the largest engine used.
This concept has three advantages.
First, it can compete in any city that has a lake, river or ocean-front.
Secondly, slow ultralights can turn pretty tight.
Third, if an engine quits, they can safely land on the river.

I can see Queenstowns tourisim board getting behind a bid to bring that format to the town, Hamilton ran the V8 Supercars (Think Nascar style cars on a Formula 1 bendy track) around the city streets for a few years before they went back to Pukekohe track. Whanganui does a Isle of Man style TT around the city streets.

High speed planes over the lake would fit Queenstowns andrenaline junkie theme, especially if they have a 2 seat class where for signing a wavier and paying significant sums, junkies get an andrenaline spiking ride as passengers in the race itself...
Use fatties like penalty weights in horse racing... the better you do, the heavier your passenger, lose too often and be issued lighter passengers...
 

Riggerrob

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I can see Queenstowns tourisim board getting behind a bid to bring that format to the town, Hamilton ran the V8 Supercars (Think Nascar style cars on a Formula 1 bendy track) around the city streets for a few years before they went back to Pukekohe track. Whanganui does a Isle of Man style TT around the city streets.

High speed planes over the lake would fit Queenstowns andrenaline junkie theme, especially if they have a 2 seat class where for signing a wavier and paying significant sums, junkies get an andrenaline spiking ride as passengers in the race itself...
Use fatties like penalty weights in horse racing... the better you do, the heavier your passenger, lose too often and be issued lighter passengers...
Why am I foreseeing a surge in popularity of slender young women in even more slender bikinis?????????
Hah!
Hah!
 

Pops

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That's called the Red Flag event, also happens in Nevada, but tickets are a little more expensive and harder to come by than Reno or Red Bull :)
My oldest son was there 2 different years, wish I could have been with him. Fathers should come first :)
 

Voidhawk9

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TV is dead, a smart team would stream it live on Twitch or similar with the main video feed coming from the top of the fin or something and picture-in picture of the cockpit view, maybe crew chief, and a knowledgeable team PR person commentating.
It is streamed on Youtube, but generally lacks the depth and production quality you reference. I found Blancalirio's clips more interesting to watch.
 

sming

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I, for one, would like to see alternate engines in the F1 class so we can all benefit from the development of one or more battle tested cheap psru in the 100-200 hp range for cheap engines. Win races, sell psru!
For the show, would like to see twin turbo v8 monsters going around :)
And to continue on Victor Bravo idea and my "single seater as in a motorcycle club" I talked about the BoKu single seater thread, I thought about racing virtual gates at altitude. Put a cell phone with the camera pointing forward in front of your eyes in the cockpit, create a track with gps points (could even be in 3D!), show the gates on the screen like it's there, grab your buddies in your single seater club and go race in the clouds for cheap! (And actually have something to do with your its-common-sense useless cheap single seater)
 

TFF

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Unluckily once there is engine options, one becomes dominant. A 100 hp Yamaha thru a gearbox would smoke a 0-200. It would need a different class. F1 probably has the best overall rules. What they need is a 320 class, 540 class and a 720 class. With similar rules. Anytime a race organization gets lots of engines in a class, they start handicaping adding weight or drag. First rule of racing is someone will buy a win. Ringers are easy to assemble. Making that harder without loosing the fun is what makes it successful.

Reno being a one and done is pretty hard on hobby money, even if you got millions. Their really needs to be about five races a year over the whole country to make it worth it. It doesn’t have to be full card of every class. But if one or two classes could pull off a weekend race with less granger it would not be so limited. Four pylon short courses. By the way first time in years my buddy was not head pylon judge for his pylon at Reno. Passed away right before the new year.
 

tspear

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Raw speed will not get audiences. Getting close to the action is what gets the audience.
So small tight courses, with smaller engines would probably do much better.

And a 540ci electric motor would have incredible power output. :)

Weight class, stall speed, turning radius, and crash worthiness are much better metrics. Leave power train freedom up to the designer.

Tim
 
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