Unlimited Air Racing Dead?

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rsrguy3

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As to the OP.... Great topic... For the most part sports in general are toast... Motor sports are on the way out. I'm 51 I've always been a gear head fume sniffing nutcase. My generation, gen x is the last generation with a large enough population in it that has any interest in motorsports in general, and when I think about it, even among pilots my age I personally don't know many guys that follow any type of motor sport, and I'm not including air racing! Let's face it masculinity is on its way out. You can talk all you want about butts in bleachers (I'm a section 8 guy) but we're all dinosaurs.
In a world that's pumping out beta males that don't want to even drive a car much less modify one, getting the younger generations to Reno in enough numbers to replace the attrition of boomers isn't going to happen. No attendance = no purse.

Now for the politics.. Until America can get back to the point at which its OK to be man, and we aren't labeled as "toxic" we won't have anyone around with the testicular fortatute to race much less spectate...
 
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rsrguy3

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As to the warbird issue... I was a military kid, I spend time deployed as a tech advisor on tuav's in Afghanistan. Two of my three sons were medics deployed, one in the Korengal (watch restreppo)... Dad was a Vietnam era green beret, grandpa was in the south pacific during ll, hell I'm a direct descendant of an Andersonville captive...

I'm sick to death of war... I personally think air racing is the highest and best use of that old iron, more or less a literal biblical swords to plows deal. When I see a battle painted warbird all I see is death and destruction these days, not to mention government and military industrial complex corruption... I say pull them all out of the museums and private collections, paint'em up in circus colors and run em!

It ain't going to happen though because it's just a "display of aggressive toxic masculinity" I mean look at all the freak dudes out there competing against women..
It was a good ride while it lasted boys.... The deficiencies in air racing are just symptoms of larger more negative societal shift. Air racing the way we know it won't be around in 10 years but my bet is it won't make it 5... Jimmy accelerated the decline and retreat of the old Iron for sure... The party is over but most Americans didn't even catch the part when the lights went out..
 
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mm4440

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Jan 14, 2012
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LA area, CA
^^^^^^^^^
I also know this to be 100% true.

Steve Ericson and Jon absolutely designed the Nemesis 2 as a racer, and made it big enough to put a second seat in for the one and only sole purpose of meeting the rules at the time, which required 2 seats and at least 5 kits having been sold.
Second seat is for spray water and ADI thanks to two seat rule.
 

mm4440

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We had a pretty big discussion a few years ago on this forum about a small cheap entry level 'one design' racer or something like that, started by nerobro IIRC. In that discussion, I posted what I believe were several detailed and 'reasonably well thought out' ideas that would be relevant to the success of air racing going forward, regardless of whether it's a cheap or one design class.

One of the things I thought would have a chance is a smaller, slower, tighter race course that can fit inside the airport boundary of a military base or regional airport. Not having to shut down city streets, not having to move people out of their homes, not having to get an FAA waiver for racing over people's property... IMHO that would take a very large chunk out of the problem. This is why "circle track" and small "dirt track" racing was viable all around the US. You could do it at the County Fairgrounds. The Long Beach and Monaco Grand Prix races are world famous, but there's only a small number of them comparatively, because they have to shut down an entire city to do it.

So a Formula 2 race class, maybe 200 MPH at most, but with longer wings to turn tighter and keep the course small enough to be viable at many more typical airshows, is the place to start. Electric is certainly an option, as is the little V-twin industrial engines limited to about 75 or 80 HP.

It's definitely not "unlimited" but it's a hell of a lot better than watching the entire sport of air racing die off.
There was an attempt to bring back Formula V.
 

mm4440

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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
540ci electric motor????
 

mm4440

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I am catching up on this topic. I believe the Unlimiteds are a by invitation Warbird class. A club if you will.. It is like historic sport and racing car competition. The planes are too valuable to really risk. The sound and spectacle of the big piston engines is still the main draw for Reno.
There is about 100 mph difference between the lap records of Unlimiteds and Sport class Gold. It is a very big 100 mph. Transonic drag rise and prop efficiency loss are significant. Ignoring those factors would require double the hp. The current rules allow innovation, economics may not.
There are big block V-8s with cooling systems that can produce 4500 hp. Can they do it for the 8 min. or so of a sport Gold race? Lets limit the engines to 495 ci in and 3000hp. If that is not enough to top the Unlimiteds you can use two. All it takes is money. The hardware is out there except for the PSRUs.
 

bmcj

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Wrt promotion: I’ve been a pilot for a long time, but I don’t recall ever receiving any promotional material for any air race. Mass emails are cheap.


BJC
Let’s hire the extended car warranty people to promote air races. I get several calls a day about my car warranty, but I don’t ever recall getting a call about any air races.
 

jedi

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Aug 8, 2009
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Sahuarita Arizona, Renton Washington, USA
Let’s hire the extended car warranty people to promote air races. I get several calls a day about my car warranty, but I don’t ever recall getting a call about any air races.
Don't feel bad. I get several calls a day to lower the insurance on the car that I do not have.

I do not get any calls to lower the insurance on the uninsured airplane that I do have. Is that why GA is in decline?

If robocalls sold Reno Race tickets would GA benefit?
 
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