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Thread: THE FUTURE IS/OF UNLIMITED? WHAT'S IT LOOK LIKE? THOUGHTS?

  1. #11
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    Default Re: THE FUTURE IS/OF UNLIMITED? WHAT'S IT LOOK LIKE? THOUGHTS?

    Looks like the general consensus of opinion so far is unless and until one or two of the fast-movers decide to return (a somewhat tall order), the UNL class will remain as it is with the potential of adding a few airframes to push Race 8 a bit harder.

    Lots of "if only" and "what if" scenarios out there and I did not mean to imply the UNL class was DOA by any means. I love competitive racing regardless of the class or speed. Hell, I spent years photographing yacht racing PNW and have done so here in SoCal. Not exactly breakneck speeds, but intense and exciting nonetheless.

    If it turns out that by 2023, we're running 15-20 UNL with speeds in the 430mph range and the outcome is in doubt until late Sunday PM, I'm good with that!

    So basically, the answer so far seems to be "e) Something other or in between." Works.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    Owner - AIR BOSS ONE
    San Diego CA
    http://airbossone.com

  2. #12
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    Default Re: THE FUTURE IS/OF UNLIMITED? WHAT'S IT LOOK LIKE? THOUGHTS?

    Quote Originally Posted by CubersWrist View Post
    I suspect the class continues in its current state until they make a significant change to the class rules.

    I've talked about this here before but for a class that is dominated by nostalgia, it really needs something new. New blood, new planes, new powerplants etc. I think you need to be open to any/all of them.

    Looking for more Yaks is a good idea because they aren't true "warbirds" and you can cut them up and modify them and people don't care and the value drop isn't as bad. Same logic is applied to why I think the class should allow slower planes like Tucanos, T-28s, etc.

    Tsunami is a very hopeful project. And another project is the Royal Horse Composite Spitfire project.
    https://www.royalhorseaviation.com/spitfire-specs
    Thomas,
    Yes I recall those post from you in the past and I'd tend to agree with you. A broadening of the class rules would expand the reach of the class and certainly enhance the number or participants. Hopefully the class will entertain all those options.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    Owner - AIR BOSS ONE
    San Diego CA
    http://airbossone.com

  3. #13
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    Default Re: THE FUTURE IS/OF UNLIMITED? WHAT'S IT LOOK LIKE? THOUGHTS?

    Quote Originally Posted by CubersWrist View Post
    I suspect the class continues in its current state until they make a significant change to the class rules.

    I've talked about this here before but for a class that is dominated by nostalgia, it really needs something new. New blood, new planes, new powerplants etc. I think you need to be open to any/all of them.

    Looking for more Yaks is a good idea because they aren't true "warbirds" and you can cut them up and modify them and people don't care and the value drop isn't as bad. Same logic is applied to why I think the class should allow slower planes like Tucanos, T-28s, etc.

    Tsunami is a very hopeful project. And another project is the Royal Horse Composite Spitfire project.
    https://www.royalhorseaviation.com/spitfire-specs
    Anything with a turbine goes in the jet class. Simple as that. That said, the Composite Spitfire is interesting, and creative, but as soon as it gets to turbine power, all interest is lost from me (and I'm sure plenty of others.)

    Yaks are true warbirds, they did serve in ww2, and were the main fighter for many different air forces around the world. That said, they are lower cost, and the Yak 11s were trainers rather than fighters. They are also largely a tube frame design that would lend itself to modification easier than a P-51.

    Do I think the rules should be given some leeway to allow for more experimental designs such as Tsunami, Shockwave, and The Cornell racer? Absolutely. But they have to retain a reciprocating engine. Would I mind seeing the minimum qualifying speed lowered so T28s can race? Nope, it would make the bronze race a pretty good battle, like a T6 race.


    There were a lot of years where the top speed was less than 470 mph. Going 500 mph doesn't make the race, its amazing to see, but it doesn't usually make for that great of racing because its usually two planes WAY off the front and everyone else trying to stay out of the way. If there are 5 or 6 planes all going hard at 450, that is a good race to me.

    Will

  4. #14
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    Default Re: THE FUTURE IS/OF UNLIMITED? WHAT'S IT LOOK LIKE? THOUGHTS?

    The super unlimited class has shriveled and all but died because of the low purse money, the insane cost to field a competitive plane and attrition of both aged owners and hardware. I do suspect that for as long as owners can afford the insurance, there will be a few warbirds in a legacy type warbird “race” between 380 and 420mph. at the NCAR.

    Is more purse money on the horizon? No. Now more than ever, no. After all this time we must face the fact that no “game changing” sponsor is going to write a check to boost the prize money.

    Except for the Buick, race 7, and arguably Miss A (although she is a long way from a 475 lap), and with VooDoo and CM both semi-retired from racing, there are no more Super Unlimited aircraft flying. Note that list does not include a very asleep and hibernating Bear.

    And I don’t mean to diminish the value of having projects like the Bear, Furias, Race 4, Tsunami, and various mystery Yaks out there. But until they are flying and racing, they don’t count for much except as a big bag of potential. There comes a time in every poker game that the participants agree to fold the game because there are not enough players to sustain proper game play. I think the super unlimited class has folded it’s unsustainable game.


    At the end of the day, the romance and adventure of flying has diminished for the general public, the magic and mystery of flight has been quantified and packaged within your Boeing product experience. Can live air racing somehow draw a fan base to it so we can sustain air racing as the current fan base ages and fly West? Can air racing be “mainstreamed” so it can somehow be monetized? Are the Super Sport class airframes the real future of unlimited air racing? Should turbine powerplants be allowed for reliability and safety factors? And what do we fans want out of air racing now? Our current racecourses are already maxed out as far as the max speeds as evidenced by the Jet class, so I think we need to witness the competitive evolution of the super sport class to the 500mph mark. That would be fun. And then there is the not so distant future, what will the NCAR be like in 2050? Electric powerplants and the end of the competitive I.C. engine? My bet is there will not be any WWII warbirds bending the pylons at the 2050 NCAR.
    '71 S.D.1000, '85-'91,'95,'97-'99,'02,'04,'06,'08,'10,'13,'14 NCAR.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: THE FUTURE IS/OF UNLIMITED? WHAT'S IT LOOK LIKE? THOUGHTS?

    Good, honest discussion.

    I tend to agree with the thought that if I had to choose between an UNL Sunday Gold race with (i) 4-6 A/C capable of posting 430-450MPH laps or (ii) 1-2 A/C capable of posting 485+MPH laps and everybody else running a distant 2nd on back after two laps, I'd take (i) in a heartbeat.

    And that was the gist of my original question. Do any of us think we will/can/may/have a remote possibility of, returning to the days of option "(a)" below. And so far, it appears the answer to that is a qualified no. Like to hear from others as well, especially those who have been around Reno since gas was $0.25/Gal.

    And it also appears most folks opining here believe that's OK as long as we have something akin to "(i)" above. As with all things in life and motorsports it boils down to how deep your pockets are and how deep your interest is in setting the bar higher. It's a little like the age-old adage, "I've got the money but no time, or I've got the time but no money."

    I am convinced much of this goes back to the generational divide. Vast majority of folks born during or after the 1970's or early 80's just do not have the level of interest in motorsports. True across the board. Reno is not unlike the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Series (no coincidence there, BTW), in that not only are the machines aging, the folks who have the KSA’s to work on them as well as those who call themselves race fans, are getting pretty long in the tooth. People just don't (can’t) work on their cars like those born in 40's-60's and have no idea what it takes to make an engine tick. Heck, many of those born in 90's & 20's don't even own a car...at least not one that burns dinosaur DNA. And an even smaller percentage may have the slightest grasp of what it takes to get a Cessna off the ground. If you mention the concept of "Lift" to them, they go straight to Victoria Secret, not that Velocity Squared thingy.

    I am hopeful that we can keep this thing going in a competitive fashion for years to come. It’s likely it won’t look like it did 5, 10, or 15 years ago ago. But I’d wager if you asked some of the old timers in 1995 what Reno would look like in 2020, they’d have been off the mark.

    As Dennis Miller says, “Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.”
    Last edited by Air Boss; 06-23-2020 at 03:51 PM.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    Owner - AIR BOSS ONE
    San Diego CA
    http://airbossone.com

  6. #16
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    Default Re: THE FUTURE IS/OF UNLIMITED? WHAT'S IT LOOK LIKE? THOUGHTS?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAD2LTR View Post

    Do I think the rules should be given some leeway to allow for more experimental designs such as Tsunami, Shockwave, and The Cornell racer? Absolutely. But they have to retain a reciprocating engine. Would I mind seeing the minimum qualifying speed lowered so T28s can race? Nope, it would make the bronze race a pretty good battle, like a T6 race.


    There were a lot of years where the top speed was less than 470 mph. Going 500 mph doesn't make the race, its amazing to see, but it doesn't usually make for that great of racing because its usually two planes WAY off the front and everyone else trying to stay out of the way. If there are 5 or 6 planes all going hard at 450, that is a good race to me.

    Will
    Was going to reply to Thomas, but I'm pretty sure unless it reverted back to normal minimum qual speed, when TFL entered they brought it down to 275 or 250? 250 can surely support a T-28, 275 might take a little modification, but far from impossible.

    I think the idea of "500 mph" is more or less that even if Strega/Voodoo/Bear finish the race at 475 average, they were going over 500 at one point more than likely. But given that mentality, Dreadnought is a 460 mph plane too I have no problems with Dreadnought having to be pushed to what we know it can do, that is good racing to me. LASTLY, if there was ever the chance for ONE Super Unlimited to come back by itself, I would hope a plane with speeds like Czech Mate would be present to keep them honest because Strega is only Strega if the MP is up there. That's why I've enjoyed watching and listening to Miss A. Reno is still the only place to hear a non-stock Merlin
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '19

  7. #17
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    Default Re: THE FUTURE IS/OF UNLIMITED? WHAT'S IT LOOK LIKE? THOUGHTS?

    Quote Originally Posted by planecrazy2 View Post
    At the end of the day, the romance and adventure of flying has diminished for the general public, the magic and mystery of flight has been quantified and packaged within your Boeing product experience. Can live air racing somehow draw a fan base to it so we can sustain air racing as the current fan base ages and fly West? Can air racing be “mainstreamed” so it can somehow be monetized? Are the Super Sport class airframes the real future of unlimited air racing? Should turbine powerplants be allowed for reliability and safety factors? And what do we fans want out of air racing now? Our current racecourses are already maxed out as far as the max speeds as evidenced by the Jet class, so I think we need to witness the competitive evolution of the super sport class to the 500mph mark. That would be fun. And then there is the not so distant future, what will the NCAR be like in 2050? Electric powerplants and the end of the competitive I.C. engine? My bet is there will not be any WWII warbirds bending the pylons at the 2050 NCAR.
    One thing I haven't really mentioned in this thread is gaining more interest in Air Racing (all classes) and how to do that.

    I've said it in another thread and thanks to young Thomas for bringing it up, a Netflix show rather than NBC sports would be incredible. I am a loose motorsport fan, but die hard air race fan. Because of the F1's Drive to Survive on Netflix, I am now an F1 fan and I never thought I would be interested in something that is becoming more and more restricted every year, but for some reason I am.

    It would be so easy to make an entertaining show. There are so many personalities and stories that take place over a 10-day period that could fill up hours on top of hours of Netflix content. Episode 1: PRS. Episode 2: Arrivals. Episode 3: Meet the players. Episode 4 & 5: Qualifying... etc. Now I have no idea the costs of this, but in my eyes this would be the only way to get people interested in Reno. The general population and younger generation can't learn how bad ass Reno is if they don't see anything about it

    I'm 24, everyone I know has a Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO account. That's just how it is and RARA needs to get into the future.
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '19

  8. #18

    Default Re: THE FUTURE IS/OF UNLIMITED? WHAT'S IT LOOK LIKE? THOUGHTS?

    [QUOTE=GRNDP51;140888]Was going to reply to Thomas, but I'm pretty sure unless it reverted back to normal minimum qual speed, when TFL entered they brought it down to 275 or 250? 250 can surely support a T-28, 275 might take a little modification, but far from impossible.

    i remember racing a stock t28 an qualed over 300
    dave

  9. #19
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    Default Re: THE FUTURE IS/OF UNLIMITED? WHAT'S IT LOOK LIKE? THOUGHTS?

    [QUOTE=morss;140892]
    Quote Originally Posted by GRNDP51 View Post
    Was going to reply to Thomas, but I'm pretty sure unless it reverted back to normal minimum qual speed, when TFL entered they brought it down to 275 or 250? 250 can surely support a T-28, 275 might take a little modification, but far from impossible.

    i remember racing a stock t28 an qualed over 300
    dave
    Hey Dave, I thought "The Bear" was pretty well modified for a T-28 to get it to go that fast? IIRC Brad Haskin mentioned it before.
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '19

  10. #20
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    Default Re: THE FUTURE IS/OF UNLIMITED? WHAT'S IT LOOK LIKE? THOUGHTS?

    I understand the generation gap. You have to keep in mind the development of cell phones/electronic devices have reshaped modern society as well as captured the interest in of every man, woman, and child beyond what anyone ever imagined. The times of mechanical beasts being the coolest thing in the world have been replaced by touch screens and the internet. However, now that modern electronics have just become part of everyone’s world, the fascination of them is tapering off and interest in mechanical things has been picking back up. The Sport class is the perfect example. It’s brought in so much new blood to the sport. IMO, more so than any class in the last couple decades. The Jets are on that list too but, the Sports are more of a bridge from the past to the future. They are accessible to pilots and owners that might not have a spare 3million to just to purchase a stock bronze racer, let alone race it. Modern designs, materials, and methods are now more interesting to the next generation and competitive nature will always exist. That’s just human dna. Now that a generation or two are not quite so fascinated by the simple existence of tiny screens, they are turning to the next things/returning to the old things to make everything better. It has been an unprecedented lull in “new” Unlimiteds but with several new projects currently underway, I’m hoping we are on the precipice of a new era. If they do make it to Reno by 2023, I’d like to think the old timers would like to come out and show the “kids” how it’s done. Those kids will love to show the old timers just how old they are.
    You'll get your chance, smart guy!

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