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Thread: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Quote Originally Posted by AAFO_WSagar View Post
    The thing about RENO, in my mind is that it's always had a bit of a "bad boy" reputation... by that I mean, it has always been the ultimate in motorsport, beyond INDY or any NASCAR event ever held, this is...

    NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AIR RACING!

    It was at one point pretty much a point of national pride and regarded as such.

    As humans, we need heroes to admire, it's good for all of us, it brings out the best in the young who have yet to aspire to whatever they might become. Air racing, to me, is just one path to that reality.

    Right now, we have a BUNCH of heroes who are not getting enough daily recognition, that being, our men and women in uniform who are deployed world wide and whom we hear little of.. Hand in hand with that, RENO has always been a celebration of heroes.. Initially a celebration of the heroic aircraft that helped save our way of life..

    I don't really know how to express what I'm trying to say but....

    In my mind, I've always associated the Reno National Championship Air Races with something much bigger. I've always thought of it as sort of a celebration of WWII because of the aircraft in the Unlimited Division..

    I'm rambling..

    Had to take BeerNazi to the ER tonight... she's got a heart gig going on and has been working herself too hard..

    Back home tonight, prolly not completely able to express what I'm trying to say.. \

    I think I will sum it up in that I feel that the National Championship Air Races should be considered an event worthy of whatever support necessary to keep this path to aviation related innovations...

    Just my totally distracted .$02
    Sending best wishes to you both. Hope she is back to 110% and bossin' you around in no time!
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    Owner - AIR BOSS ONE
    San Diego CA
    http://airbossone.com

  2. #22
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    Sep 2007
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    Collierville, TN
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Disclaimer: personal rail-bird opinion to follow…

    I think we (those of us that hang around AAFO) are all in agreement that without racing, Reno as it has been becomes one of a multitude of other aviation events. Because of that, it is easy to slip into what I call a “sacred cow” mindset that places racing above all else. The sacred cow must be a successful event, otherwise there will be no environment for racing to occur in at all. While it may seem a minor or maybe even obvious shift in perspective, it is one I see overlooked in problem solving on a regular basis. Effectively, it is the difference between being process-driven and product-driven.

    To build a successful event, you need to know your goals. To my eye, some examples might be:

    • Financial Stability
    • X% Growth in Attendance Year over Year
    • Targeted Demographics Outreach – Sex, Race, Age, etc.
    • Year-Round Awareness and Engagement
    • Operating Efficiency and Agility (i.e. – the ability to manage the impact of a pandemic)


    When using this process and you look at a goal like “X% Growth,” you realize that goal is not going to happen due to direct growth in the racing fan base. Yes, we all talk with friends and family, but grass roots growth at the NCAR because of folks interested purely in pylon racing is minimal and I would guess easily offset by the aging out of the “O.G.” fan base. Growth is going to occur by getting people in the gate for both proven as well as new and modern reasons and then exposing them to and educating them on pylon racing.

    I think this conversation also applies to Owen’s other thread about what does the Unlimited class look like going forward. Make no mistake, the Unlimiteds are my absolute favorite thing to see in the world but just like air travel from the 50’s and 60’s – they are becoming a by-gone era due to a variety of reasons. If the NCAR/RARA hangs its future on the Unlimiteds, it will eventually end. However, if they hang their future on building an innovative and successful environment, pylon racing can have a home for a very long time. While I would hate to see the Unlimiteds fade away, I would hate more to see their departure drag the entirety of the NCAR under with them.

    Note: I do not think the demise of the Unlimiteds is imminent or even a certainty. I just recognize the realities of time, money, and scarcity are significant challenges for the Unlimited group that if not properly managed threaten the entire NCAR world.

    So, to bring it back to your question, Owen, around balance of performers versus racing time allotment, I say if RARA focuses on building a successful event, that number sorts itself out. Of course, it might be better to make the ratio non-racing versus racing time as I wouldn’t want to artificially constrain (i.e. - only flying activities) what might constitute a successful event in the 2020’s and beyond.

    James

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    James,
    Well said, sir. Well said.

    Process vs. Product is a key driver in the success of any organization. If you're too focused on the product side of the house (e.g. short-term goals) it's easy to lose sight of or discount the long-term goals that make up the process quotient. And of course, the reverse is also true. They must go hand in hand. Product vision is more closely associated with projects while process builds a strength of character and good habits that serve an organization well over the long run. Without a good process, product are doomed to fail eventually. Having a good process doesn't necessarily ensure good products...but try developing a good product with it. Products, on the other hand, are the "customer-facing" things that build a clientele.

    At first glance, it would seem Reno has a fairly solid process driven mentality and approach. Whether we're talking day to day operations, CFR, Safety, training, inspections, etc., Reno does a very good job in those and other areas. What seems to be a bit more important now is a product component that bolsters attendance and revenue, fits well into Reno's process, and enhances Reno's standing in the industry beyond what it already enjoys. How best to do that? As James stated so well...it's likely not going to happen organically. Bringing essentially the same fan base back year after year is not a recipe for success over time.

    We can’t kill the goose that laid the golden eggs…but we also cannot continue to put all those eggs in one basket.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    Owner - AIR BOSS ONE
    San Diego CA
    http://airbossone.com

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    We have a lot of contact through my wife's work with local families. There are those that want the races ended because they are noisy and those unsafe planes fly over their houses (at several thousand feet) but they are few. Most of the "fans" like the show more than the races, it occupies the kids more. The military, both static and in the air, are big draws also. I feel that for the most part racing is secondary to them. Of course this is an air race, but a good mix is what is needed. These people with a couple of exceptions, do not get out there early enough to see the slower/smaller classes where I personally think the best true racing occurs.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    We have a lot of contact through my wife's work with local families. There are those that want the races ended because they are noisy and those unsafe planes fly over their houses (at several thousand feet) but they are few. Most of the "fans" like the show more than the races, it occupies the kids more. The military, both static and in the air, are big draws also. I feel that for the most part racing is secondary to them. Of course this is an air race, but a good mix is what is needed. These people with a couple of exceptions, do not get out there early enough to see the slower/smaller classes where I personally think the best true racing occurs.
    I'd agree Leo, across the board. I don't believe anyone wants Reno to be just another airshow. But it would seem prudent to conduct serious due diligence into how best to seure its future. Not that RARA doens't do that on a regular basis. Guess I'm saying lets take a step back, a step sideways, and strongly consider realigning the event.

    May work...may not. But it is perhaps a bit naive to think status quo is the way to go.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    Owner - AIR BOSS ONE
    San Diego CA
    http://airbossone.com

  6. #26
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    Aug 2002
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Totally agree. While we die-hard fans would be happy to watch race after race, we are the minority. I would like to see more warbird displays, I think it's a way to educate and maybe spark interest.
    As an example, I have been married 37 years. My wife has gone out there with me for racing twice. No real interest but indulges mine. Back in February the Corsair that has been in a thread here showed up. My son had access to the hanger so we stopped by. She walked around it, saw just what it was, and looked at several of the jets there. She is now interested and constantly askes questions and listens to I and my son's discussions instead of running from the room. All it took was close exposure.
    It would be cool if that interest could be sparked in more visitors.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    Totally agree. While we die-hard fans would be happy to watch race after race, we are the minority. I would like to see more warbird displays, I think it's a way to educate and maybe spark interest.
    As an example, I have been married 37 years. My wife has gone out there with me for racing twice. No real interest but indulges mine. Back in February the Corsair that has been in a thread here showed up. My son had access to the hanger so we stopped by. She walked around it, saw just what it was, and looked at several of the jets there. She is now interested and constantly asks questions and listens to I and my son's discussions instead of running from the room. All it took was close exposure.
    It would be cool if that interest could be sparked in more visitors.
    It has been said that one remembers a living warbird far more that one enshrined in a museum. Why? Because you can hear it, feel it, smell it. Instead of simply seeing a shell sitting there, ones that fly and might be getting ready to fly as you stand there leave a much stronger impression. It completes the imagination because a person who has never heard a warbird start and run can only guess what it would sound like. The whine of the starter the sound of the engine turning over before the ignition is turned on, the smell of unburnt AVGAS, then the sudden hurricane of sound as the engine comes to life and settles into an idle. The feel of the propwash with the plane just sitting there at idle. Suddenly that shell is alive and breathing, its real for all the senses to take in. That few minutes of watching the plane start are now firmly ingrained in a person's mind. The sound, smell and sight are hard to forget, unlike just seeing the same sort of plane sitting quietly in a museum.

    I still remember walking around the three of SR-71s (956, 967 and 971) at Edwards that didn't fly in 1999. Even though the hangar had many people in it talking and making noise, if you were close to the SR-71s, you could hear their heartbeat. The fans cooling the internal systems, the smell of the JP7 fuel, the occasional relay clicking to turn on a fan or turn one off. Now to walk around one I know what it should sound like, and those sounds are gone. The plane is dead. While its still really cool to see, its not the same. There is something wrong, something missing. Its the heartbeat of the plane that is gone. The subtle nuances are missing, its just not the same.

    Giving the public the opportunity to learn about history, to possibly touch it, hear it, and get the full experience of it in living form makes all the difference. This is how you spark the imagination of a kid or adult who wouldn't normally be interested. If RARA can give the crowd more of that, it might convert some people with just a mild passing interest into diehard warbird junkies. I'd have to guess many owners wouldn't be all that keen on having lots of people sit or touch their prized possession, but if some of the museums bring their hardware out, and allow people to go through the plane or sit in the cockpit, that might provide the opportunity for someone to have a serious hands on experience. The Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa is really good with this as they tow most of their displays out and you can sit in the cockpits during the airshow (No, most of their stuff will never fly again.) There is usually a line at every single plane with an open cockpit, and its both kids and adults.

    Will

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Quote Originally Posted by Air Boss View Post
    Sending best wishes to you both. Hope she is back to 110% and bossin' you around in no time!
    Not a false alarm, but, fortunately, not a heart attack or stroke!

    Her diagnosis of the cardiac issue was right when they finally let surgeries go forward when she had to pass stress test.

    She's going to go get fixed, just need the damn appointment moved to sooner! Thanks for the well wishes!!
    Wayne Sagar
    "Pusher of Electrons"

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    886

    Default Re: Looking Forward to Reno 2021!

    Quote Originally Posted by RAD2LTR View Post
    It has been said that one remembers a living warbird far more that one enshrined in a museum. Why? Because you can hear it, feel it, smell it. Instead of simply seeing a shell sitting there, ones that fly and might be getting ready to fly as you stand there leave a much stronger impression. It completes the imagination because a person who has never heard a warbird start and run can only guess what it would sound like. The whine of the starter the sound of the engine turning over before the ignition is turned on, the smell of unburnt AVGAS, then the sudden hurricane of sound as the engine comes to life and settles into an idle. The feel of the propwash with the plane just sitting there at idle. Suddenly that shell is alive and breathing, its real for all the senses to take in. That few minutes of watching the plane start are now firmly ingrained in a person's mind. The sound, smell and sight are hard to forget, unlike just seeing the same sort of plane sitting quietly in a museum.

    I still remember walking around the three of SR-71s (956, 967 and 971) at Edwards that didn't fly in 1999. Even though the hangar had many people in it talking and making noise, if you were close to the SR-71s, you could hear their heartbeat. The fans cooling the internal systems, the smell of the JP7 fuel, the occasional relay clicking to turn on a fan or turn one off. Now to walk around one I know what it should sound like, and those sounds are gone. The plane is dead. While its still really cool to see, its not the same. There is something wrong, something missing. Its the heartbeat of the plane that is gone. The subtle nuances are missing, its just not the same.

    Giving the public the opportunity to learn about history, to possibly touch it, hear it, and get the full experience of it in living form makes all the difference. This is how you spark the imagination of a kid or adult who wouldn't normally be interested. If RARA can give the crowd more of that, it might convert some people with just a mild passing interest into diehard warbird junkies. I'd have to guess many owners wouldn't be all that keen on having lots of people sit or touch their prized possession, but if some of the museums bring their hardware out, and allow people to go through the plane or sit in the cockpit, that might provide the opportunity for someone to have a serious hands on experience. The Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa is really good with this as they tow most of their displays out and you can sit in the cockpits during the airshow (No, most of their stuff will never fly again.) There is usually a line at every single plane with an open cockpit, and its both kids and adults.

    Will
    Nicely done, Will. Getting owners of those warbirds to show up at RTS and not just display their pride and joy but allow folks to put "hands on" is a challenge. Hope those who have taken the steps to preserve that history at great expense are also willing to share it, instead of keeping it locked up in the hangar. Living, breathing, vibrating, roaring WWII birds are music to the soul for those of us who have spent years/decades in their presence. It's up to us to pass that on as much as possible.

    I spent the better part of a decade working for Mr. Paul Allen from 2002-2009. Much of my legal work was around his estates, yachts and aircraft. Early days of Flying Heritage Collection and the acquisitions...when the "contract" was a cocktail napkin with a date, a dollar figure, and a scrawled signature. Incredible times to be sure. And it afforded me a unique opportunity to get up close and personal, to say the least. Though Mr. Allen was not a big fan of flying them to a remote sight for static display, Heritage, etc. he did allow them to participate in Seattle Seafair airshow for a few years and it was great working with them. Sadly, they’ve recently announced they were closing…perhaps for good. Since Mr. Allen’s passing, the keen interest and inspiration just aren’t there. And of course, Wuhan hasn’t helped. I know the Seattle area is also losing Historic Flight Foundation as I’ve heard they are relocating to Spokane, WA area. The I-5 Warbird Alley is losing the two largest collections of airworthy warbirds.

    At the same time I as working for Mr. Allen, I was a tenured Docent at Seattle's Museum of Flight. Museums like MoF have their place, to be sure. There's only one place you can put your hands on an MD-21. I used to give 90 minute "Tip to Tail" tours of the MD-21. Systems, fuel, J58's, S&R, DAFICS, Buick Wildcat Start Carts, and all the rest. Ninety minutes wasn't even enough time! I think in many ways museums are the bait by which the aviation community catches its fish. Even though those artifacts are no longer living, breathing machines, they have stories that while they can’t tell themselves, others can tell on their behalf. Hopefully that will never stop.

    But your point about static displays/museum pieces is a good one. Cannot count the number of times I watched youngsters walk up and touch a warbird, then watch the pilot strap in, fire it up, taxi out, and put on a show. Once the wheels are chocked again, and the kids walk back up to that bird and talks to the pilot...their entire demeanor changes and the light in their eyes is electric.

    It’s up to all of us to do our part to keep these birds “alive”, even if it’s only in our minds eye, and to convey the importance of keeping them flying and the pure exhilaration that comes from doing so to the next generation. Like many of you, I caught that bug very early. Six year old growing up three blocks from the Renton Airport. Guys in the tower knew me by first name. Hours spent pressed against the chain link fence staring at 707’s and 727’s getting ready for delivery, Schwinn bike leaning against the fence, chowing down on PB&J’s and chocolate milk in the summer sun (ok…it’s Seattle but allow me some poetic license!).

    If Reno is to remain a top-tier aviation event unlike any other, it won’t happen by standing pat with what we’ve got. They know that…they’re making significant changes and there’s more to come.
    Last edited by Air Boss; Yesterday at 10:13 AM.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    Owner - AIR BOSS ONE
    San Diego CA
    http://airbossone.com

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