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Thread: RARA vs Warbird Pilots?

  1. #1

    Default RARA vs Warbird Pilots?

    Still not seeing most of the fastest unlimiteds on the ramp or even a full field I'm wondering what transpires between these folks or what is otherwise keeping the unlimiteds away? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: RARA vs Warbird Pilots?

    We're in the middle of a shift, just give it some time. We're on track for the most Unlimiteds we've had in a decade (outside of 2017 which doesn't really count since 4 of them were just to parade around), and that's with Swamp Fox and Sweet Mary Lou dropping out. Next year is already on track to have 6-8 other planes race as well. Are they all 500mph racers? Definitely not, but the field is growing. There are also 3 one-off 500mph racers in the works that will likely race within 5 years. Jeff LaVelle and Jim Rust also have P-51's, and with how competitive they've proven to be in Sport, I could definitely see mods to their Mustangs, OR the possibility of Strega, Furias, Dago Red, switching hands down the line. This is far from over.

    Just. Give. It. Some. Time.....
    Last edited by GRNDP51; 08-01-2022 at 09:28 AM.
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '21

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    406

    Default Re: RARA vs Warbird Pilots?

    I can agree with the shift.

    Miss America getting the upgrades she is and Czech Mate returning is more than we've gotten here in the past few years. It may be slow, but the trajectory appears to be upward. Very slowly upward, but still...
    "America is all about speed...hot, nasty, bada** speed."
    -Eleanor Roosevelt-

  4. #4

    Default Re: RARA vs Warbird Pilots?

    One of the things that might be keeping the fast Mustangs away was mentioned in the Miss A thread. A lack of Allison Rod Merlin connecting rod bearings. I'm not sure how big of a factor this is, but it could be a major one. For the first time in a long time we should have 4 racers in the 400+ club this year with a possible 5th (with some luck). Next year there is a possibility of 6.

    Give the class time. We are hopefully coming out of a lull and in a few years, there is a good chance that there will be several racers running 480+

    Will

  5. #5

    Default Re: RARA vs Warbird Pilots?

    Go look through the historic qualifying times and gold race times to see how exceedingly rare it is to have racers clocking in at north of 490. The 90s to and early 2000s were a special time. We have at least 3 this year you have the capacity to run at 420-430+. I'm so looking forward to see a race for the lead in the unlimited. I love the scream of a tweaked merlin at 500+, but I'll watch a 3 way race at 425 any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    Plus Sport is getting sooo good. Se you all next month!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    FT. WORTH, TEXAS
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: RARA vs Warbird Pilots?

    I have only been to one race. 2010. Loved it. I may not have all the history and the know as others here, but from what I have seen, I believe history is coming full circle. Just in its own way at its speed.

    I agree, Lockheed Bob, being a bearer of unfathomable information, should look at putting all his knowledge to ink. His choice. After reading umpteen 300 page books of his memories, we may see the parallels of yesteryear here in the now.

    The speeds will get there. This may not be as fast in happening, as alot would love to see, but it will come. Amazing things take time. This one of a kind event is no exception.

    At least people are racing. And for that, I am truly thankful.
    John

    Loves airplanes and runs freight trains.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    San Diego, CA
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    2,220

    Default Re: RARA vs Warbird Pilots?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    Go look through the historic qualifying times and gold race times to see how exceedingly rare it is to have racers clocking in at north of 490. The 90s to and early 2000s were a special time. We have at least 3 this year you have the capacity to run at 420-430+. I'm so looking forward to see a race for the lead in the unlimited. I love the scream of a tweaked merlin at 500+, but I'll watch a 3 way race at 425 any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    Plus Sport is getting sooo good. Se you all next month!
    If the talk holds true, I think we are going to have a 2-way race at 460+, with Dread trailing close behind. Per Mark's Miss America report, Team 11 is well aware that Czech Mate was coming, and on paper Secret Pete thinks Miss A is faster if Ricky's engine plan holds together, we very well could have a screaming Merlin at 125"+ (not too far off Strega/Voodoo 140")
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '21

  8. #8

    Default Re: RARA vs Warbird Pilots?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    Go look through the historic qualifying times and gold race times to see how exceedingly rare it is to have racers clocking in at north of 490. The 90s to and early 2000s were a special time. We have at least 3 this year you have the capacity to run at 420-430+. I'm so looking forward to see a race for the lead in the unlimited. I love the scream of a tweaked merlin at 500+, but I'll watch a 3 way race at 425 any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    Plus Sport is getting sooo good. Se you all next month!
    Thanks for answering Tim. From 1987 to 2019 I've been there every year and seen them all break the records. Last year I didn't come because of disappointment at lack of Unlimiteds. As for the planes it's the big hot fast radials that I miss. Seems mostly a parade of Mustangs lately. Now I sure wouldn't mind seeing Tsunami in a couple years and also miss Precious Metal and want to see its full potential as well as a field of hot modified Yaks. But where's all the Sea Furys? Sure Sport is getting faster and presently I fear for the pilots losing a wing or some other high speed catastrophe even if the racing's good. F1 and Biplanes are fun and entertaining as well. Would love to see an unlimited T6 class where they could modify air frame and hop up engines. Also would love to see the T28 class we almost had once as well. As for the jets and bush planes never wanted them there to begin with. Bring back the big boys and the 4000 HP engines you can feel in your chest when they go by. I was blessed and very grateful that the Dwelles let me have a part of Critical Mass' airframe when it was being converted from a racer. Not sure if this had been part of Blind Mans Bluff as well but it had gone 500 or more for sure. I watched as Czech Mate(Perestroika)evolved from a 380 mph plane with no prop spinner and a stock rudder to the beautiful pylon burning racer it is today and its presence this year at the races is 95% of the reason if I make it this time. I'm 75 now and age and seeing the crash of the Ghost literally right in front of me in 2011 has made me MUCH more nervous for the pilots but I can still get very excited for a good race and like Tim the tool man I love more power. Bring it on.

  9. #9

    Default Re: RARA vs Warbird Pilots?

    This year the Sunday gold has the makings for a fantastic race. On paper it should be a very lopsided one, and not the way most people think. It will come down to whoever wins the drag race down the chute.

    The unlimited Silver could also have a great race at the front. Yep Jeff Lavelle is the obvious favorite to win, but there is another pilot who flies an amazing line, and his plane wasn't that much slower when it last raced, at a conservative power setting. That said, the same plane has run much faster in the past when it wasn't in the condition it is now.

    As for seeing Precious Metal come back, sadly that won't happen. I've seen pics taken from a former team member showing the airframe as a TF, and another telling me its a TF awaiting instructions on where to be delivered to a new owner. (Who, I don't know.) Its pretty safe to say Precious Metal is gone sadly.

    The future holds some interesting possibilities. Tsunami, Shockwave, another unnamed project, and who knows what else is in the works behind closed doors. Perhaps something will happen with American Spirit, Furias, Mr Awesome, or any other ex racer. We need to have faith that the class will rebound. Things are in the works. They need time to make them happen.

    Will

  10. #10

    Default Re: RARA vs Warbird Pilots?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    Go look through the historic qualifying times and gold race times to see how exceedingly rare it is to have racers clocking in at north of 490. The 90s to and early 2000s were a special time.

    And, if we were all honest with ourselves, we knew that it was also an unsustainable time. When you had Voodoo, Strega, Dago Red, Czech Mate, Rare Bear, and September Fury all hovering around the gold, it was inevitable that one or more would break... expensively... during the week, and in the end and only one could win (and still not cover the cost of running that hard and fast).

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