Warbird Information Exchange

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed on this site are the responsibility of the poster and do not reflect the views of the management.
It is currently Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:00 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:21 pm 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:48 pm
Posts: 6340
Unlimited racers 'Strega', 'Voodoo' and 'Rare Bear' absent this year?. Looks like it.
I was just thinking the other day how RARA could put some life back into the unlimited races and make it more than a one or two horse race that it seems to have been for several years now. I sometimes attend the races and other times I don't, yet I at least usually check for results, but I'm certainly not what one would call a big race fan. Interesting yes, fan not so much. What worries me at times is when I see some of the rare warbirds show up and I see race numbers applied over the star & bar (POF Corsair or a few of the old TFL aircraft). I'm not sure if this is mean't to perhaps compete or whether it's simply going through the motions around the pylons for the fans. Just hate to see one get broken or worse.

Was there a reason that the 'big dogs' stayed home this year?, am I missing something? I haven't googled long enough for any reasons why. I'm sure the race experts will chime in shortly. This year it looks that the Sanders family Sea fury 'Dreadnought' won the unlimited Gold race.

_________________
I don't have a short temper, I just have a low tolerance for hypocrites & narcissists ...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:47 pm 
Offline
3000+ Post Club
3000+ Post Club
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 10:18 pm
Posts: 3008
Location: Phoenix, Az
Sanders had 4 Sea furys in the Gold Race, there were 5 furies, 2 mustangs and 1 Yak in the Gold race.
Dreadnought was 1st, Miss America was 2nd

_________________
Matt Gunsch, A&P, IA, Warbird maint and restorations
Jack, You have Debauched my sloth !!!!!!
We tried voting with the Ballot box, When do we start voting from the Ammo box, and am I allowed only one vote ?
https://www.facebook.com/shoot.the.guns.of.history


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:04 pm 
Offline
Group Captain
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:45 pm
Posts: 940
Location: Kimberley, B. C. Canada
It's gotten a LOT more expensive in recent years to field a top level racer, and it was never cheap. Back around 1990 Lyle Shelton told me he planned on about $100,000 and up to bring Rare Bear to Reno each year. This was taking fuel, insurance and such into account, but not taking the cost of the airplane or engine into account. 90% or more of labor, maintenance etc was done on a volunteer basis, and he had an engine that he could run year after year without replacement or major rebuild. A Strega or Voodoo needs essentially a new engine each year, plus a spare -- these things have a short fuse. Nothing aviation wise has gotten cheaper in the last 28 years.

At the same time prize money has largely dried up. Jimmy's crash tripled Reno's insurance cost and it was not cheap before. Audiences are thinning and young people are not coming in to replace us geezers in the seats.

The best racing is in the "lesser" classes these days. The Sport and Formula 1 classes had great Racing this year, but they don't bring in paying spectators.

So Reno is struggling and the future is unclear. America has had airplane racing for a hundred years now. I'd hate to see the sport fade away.

Regarding the Warbirds, I don't think that running around Reno at moderate power is any harder on the machinery than doing airshow passes -- much less aerobatics. The audiences do love seeing P-51s, Sea Furies, P-40s etc. rumbling around the pylons -- even at 300 mph -- and the pilots absolutely love being able to legally fly low. So why not? Maybe this can save the Sport...

_________________
Neal Nurmi

---Wingman Photo---


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:29 pm 
Offline
Group Captain
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:45 pm
Posts: 940
Location: Kimberley, B. C. Canada
Speaking of Reno, here's a really cool video about qualifying adventures at Reno in a homebuilt sport class machine (owned by Dennis Sanders), a Sea Fury flown by Dennis Sanders, and a really interesting segment from about 6 minutes on featuring a video debrief by young J P Thibodeau after qualifying in his first Reno Unlimited venture. He has had some biplane racing experience but this was his first time in an Unlimited at Reno. It's good to see these younger media savvy guys (not Dennis) getting involved in Reno.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIWR1C9wkWo&t=313s

_________________
Neal Nurmi

---Wingman Photo---


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:05 am 
Offline
Group Captain

Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:56 am
Posts: 815
Did you see the video of the two L-39's mid-air and touching wings?

Lucky boys I'd say...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:40 am 
Offline
Group Captain

Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 10:28 am
Posts: 354
Location: Sunny Arizona
It was good and bad. I tell you honestly there was a new energy this year. It is obvious that the new management cares a lot. They will do what they can. There is a lot of momentum in the Sport Class and IF1 in particular. The Sport interest is so high that a stock RV-8 can no longer qualify on speed.

As for the Unlimiteds, Voodoo was donated to Planes of Fame. It was surprising to see no involvement by the museum this year (other than the pace plane). Last year they were very active with both stock Mustangs participating.

Strega team has made it clear they need more money to show up. Rod Lewis has more money than god, so obviously there are other reasons Rare Bear is not racing.

September Fury is for sale for $750K. A guy could buy it now and whip Dreadnought next September. Hopefully the Precious Metal team is now doubly motivated. This was the slowest Gold Race win in 40 years. Where were you in 1978, the last year a race was won under 420?

There are well over 150 teams invested in this sport, so no doubt it will continue for many years to come. But it had to be financially restructured. The big grandstand pricing is out of whack. It makes the place look half-empty even though the bleachers are full. They should sell the big Grandstand seats for a $10 upgrade over the cost of a GA ticket and they can probably fill them. At least try that for one year and see how it goes.

Looking forward to Reno 2019! It is still the best thing going in aviation.

_________________
Rob C

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. “

– Michael Crichton


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:55 am 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:48 pm
Posts: 6340
Pretty much everything stated so far is what I either thought or have heard in one way or another. Predictably optimistic and concerning at the same time. I do hope the races stick around though. It's always been a fun trip up to the Reno/Tahoe area for a few days.

_________________
I don't have a short temper, I just have a low tolerance for hypocrites & narcissists ...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:46 pm 
Offline
Group Captain

Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:19 am
Posts: 444
Location: Ontario
RobC wrote:
Rod Lewis has more money than god, so obviously there are other reasons Rare Bear is not racing.


https://www.spitfireraceteam.com/

https://www.instagram.com/spitfireracing/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:56 pm 
Offline
Group Captain

Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 10:28 am
Posts: 354
Location: Sunny Arizona
A hobby that costs more to run and pays less for 1st than does Reno. And the 1000 is not till mid November. But that's trivial. Have you seen his boat?

The point is, there are literally thousands of people in this country that could fund a Rare Bear or Strega, year-after-year. Any parent that is paying for a year in Indy Lights or Formula 3 for his kid is paying 5 to 15 times what it costs to run a Gold winner at Reno. The thing lacking is desire. It takes a special set of skills to pull that kind of dough and fly the plane. Not many people have both.

_________________
Rob C

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. “

– Michael Crichton


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:07 am 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:18 pm
Posts: 1411
Location: Meriden,Ct.
"There are well over 150 teams invested in this sport, so no doubt it will continue for many years to come. But it had to be financially restructured. The big grandstand pricing is out of whack. It makes the place look half-empty even though the bleachers are full. They should sell the big Grandstand seats for a $10 upgrade over the cost of a GA ticket and they can probably fill them. At least try that for one year and see how it goes."

How about more shaded areas, that sun is too brutal for us people not use to it... :snakeman:

Phil

_________________
A man's got to know his limitations.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:52 am 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:14 pm
Posts: 1601
Location: Oslo, NORWAY
Neal Nurmi wrote:
At the same time prize money has largely dried up. Jimmy's crash tripled Reno's insurance cost and it was not cheap before. Audiences are thinning and young people are not coming in to replace us geezers in the seats.

The best racing is in the "lesser" classes these days. The Sport and Formula 1 classes had great Racing this year, but they don't bring in paying spectators.

So Reno is struggling and the future is unclear. America has had airplane racing for a hundred years now. I'd hate to see the sport fade away.

Regarding the Warbirds, I don't think that running around Reno at moderate power is any harder on the machinery than doing airshow passes -- much less aerobatics. The audiences do love seeing P-51s, Sea Furies, P-40s etc. rumbling around the pylons -- even at 300 mph -- and the pilots absolutely love being able to legally fly low. So why not? Maybe this can save the Sport...

I think this is the gist of it. Higher expenses, less spectators, and less interest by youngsters in "real" things in this digital age where virtual reality runs rampant will not help unlimited racing one bit. I don't for a minute think we will see new "super racers" emerge anymore. I mean, we even have several current ones which are not being entered (or in some cases, getting finished by their owners). As for September Fury I would not be the least surprised if it will be made back into a stock warbird in due time. And haven't we made much fun about the chances of Dago Red showing up as a TF-51...

As for the last part, I do agree that people would show up just to see these fighters fly low around the racecourse. On an air racing website I did suggest that one should try to incorporate a longer race, in the vein of the old Mojave/ San Diego races of the 70s. This could appease warbird owners who don't want to cut up their planes, nor invest in a race engine. Make the rules not so much "unlimited", but rather "limited" like the T-6 class. Run them through quals and then divide the planes up into two races, one for Friday and one for Saturday. Those qualifying in the odd number will race on Friday, even numbers on Saturday. The top half qualifiers are entered into the main event on Sunday. This was done in Cleveland if I remember correctly. Keep the Fri/ Sat races shorter, like 125 miles and the major race 250 miles, and incorporate strategy like a pit- stop. Might not win many friends in die- hard race fan circles where one want to see Mustangs pull 130 in of MP, but I feel that our world is disappearing into the distance anyway (at 500mph)! Try to attract a sponsor for each race (remember Cleveland; Kendall, Sohio, Tinnerman, Thompson). It might be easier to get one sponsor for each race than for the whole shebang, and one would imagine it is better business to have a specific race run in your company name.

Now why haven't RARA already hired me... :wink:

T J

_________________
Make my day, punk!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:47 am 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:18 pm
Posts: 1411
Location: Meriden,Ct.
Good points.... pop2

What exactly does Stihl do ?
I sure they do a lot, but maybe they could sponsor a plane in every race; or a race.

Phil

_________________
A man's got to know his limitations.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:37 pm 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:48 pm
Posts: 6340
I'm sure there are many thoughts and ideas from a great many folks on how to save and/or improve the races. Unfortunately I'm hearing (and this is simply hearsay) that there seems to be a lack of good quality organization and leadership from the powers that be in all areas, and no matter the effort, drive and money someone wants to invest in a race team, they perhaps tend to become frustrated to the point of it not being worth it. Again this is what I've been hearing, but who knows what the real story is, certainly not me.

_________________
I don't have a short temper, I just have a low tolerance for hypocrites & narcissists ...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:46 pm 
Offline
3000+ Post Club
3000+ Post Club
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:52 pm
Posts: 3292
Location: Wichita Falls, Texas, USA
phil65 wrote:
Good points.... pop2

What exactly does Stihl do ?
I sure they do a lot, but maybe they could sponsor a plane in every race; or a race.

Phil


They make outdoor equipment. In addition to being the title sponsor, they sponsored the race-winning Sport Gold Lancair flown by Andrew Findlay.

https://www.stihlusa.com/community/team ... ir-racing/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:18 pm 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:18 pm
Posts: 1411
Location: Meriden,Ct.
CAPFlyer wrote:
phil65 wrote:
Good points.... pop2

What exactly does Stihl do ?
I sure they do a lot, but maybe they could sponsor a plane in every race; or a race.

Phil


They make outdoor equipment. In addition to being the title sponsor, they sponsored the race-winning Sport Gold Lancair flown by Andrew Findlay.

https://www.stihlusa.com/community/team ... ir-racing/


I know Stihl the company, and that they sponsored the Lancair. I was wondering that they do for the races.

Thanks
Phil

_________________
A man's got to know his limitations.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alexa [Bot], Cubs2jets, Google [Bot] and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group