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Thread: Isn't it about time Reno introduced an electric class

  1. #111

    Default Re: Isn't it about time Reno introduced an electric class

    And to take Wayne's post a step further, there were huge amounts of private and government prize money used to motivate people to pursue air racing. The only way racing is "profitable" is when it doubles as R&D for a commercial product or development for a military weapon. Look at how the Wedell Williams 44 morphed into the P-26 and look at how Formula E car racing is being used as a test bed for commercial electric vehicles. And then most famously the recent Ford V Ferrari movie is very clear that Ford was only interested in racing to sell more street cars. That's the business we work in and are fans of. Reno's current state is obvious when you realizes most of the current classes haven't fulfilled that role in years (or decades?) and that's why we have the current "purse problem".

    Electric power whether you hate the sound or not, is at the same stage as the 1930s. On the aero and structures side, we have the advantage of composites and knowing how to make a stable airplane so as to not repeat the Gee Bees and other unstable racers. And most importantly for the future of air racing, is there is a lot of money interested in making this work. And anything that helps one class, helps the others.

    I assure team Outlaw is working as fast as it can to give you all something to look at and over-analyze. I'm doing motor mount stress calculations, FEA, CFD, etc etc. so we are making progress, but we are going to be thorough. And thorough is boring. So bear with us, and we'll give you a good show when we are sure it's safe to do so.
    "young" Thomas

  2. #112
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Snohomish, WA
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    40

    Default Re: Isn't it about time Reno introduced an electric class

    Quote Originally Posted by AAFO_WSagar View Post
    Whatever the fastest aircraft of the era are, we should be racing them at RENO!
    Here's the problem with that:

    We already have a speed limit on the course. The jet class is coming up on it with aircraft that don't come anywhere near the fastest of this era. If they were to allow swept wings and afterburners, they'd be capable exceeding the speed limit with 50 year old machines. And this doesn't even account for the fact that we're probably not very far from unmanned aircraft that would be capable of running the course supersonic.

    Once the technology exceeds what the venue can support (or what the human pilot can support), it changes the nature of the sport. Instead of racing as fast as you can, it becomes an exercise in who can get the closest to the established limits without exceeding them.

    There's nothing wrong with this. Bracket racing in autos is hugely popular, but it doesn't do anything for me. I'm also not a big fan of Nascar. I'm pretty sure that Formula 1 (auto racing) tried for years to ban traction control technology, but eventually gave up, because they just couldn't prevent cheating because it was too easy to hide the technology. It probably made for some interesting drama, but it's just not what I am looking for with racing.

    I'm not sure that I could justify why I feel the way that I do. I have no problem with defining parameters like airframe powerplant design that must be met, but without any restrictions beyond the physical parameters. I love the sport class. But once you start artificially slowing things down with fuel flow restrictions and the like, then I start to lose interest. And that would inevitably happen with turbine or electric power plants.

    Frankly, I think that the sport class as it currently exists is the best thing that's happened to air racing at Reno in the entire time that I've been going.

    Where I do agree with one of the points of this thread, is that (unfortunately) there doesn't seem to be a lot of future in the current unlimited class. The equipment is just getting too rare and valuable for it to be viable.

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