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Thread: Understanding the Super Stangs

  1. #1
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    Question Understanding the Super Stangs

    Hi team,
    I've been an Unlimited fan since I was a kid. For a long time Dago Red was my favourite, then the Bear, then Precious Metal etc.

    But consider me a total newbie when I ask: What made Dago different from Strega, and how was pre-record Voodoo different to them? In the aftermath of this year's races I unearthed my meagre library of Reno/modern air racing books and began to ponder: How are the Super Stangs different?

    I know next to nothing about the technical aspects (except for Voodoo's transformation for 2017, having followed it as closely as possible) but feel free to put it into any language.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Understanding the Super Stangs

    That is an awfully big topic, Zac. There are differences in everything from engines to props to cooling strategies to use of telemetry. All the Superstangs from Dago through the witch to Voodoo are both very similar and very different. They are all in a sense just an evolution of ideas worked out by Dave Zeuschel in developing what became Jeannie.

    It'll be interesting to see how this thread develops.

    Neal

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Understanding the Super Stangs

    Quote Originally Posted by wingman View Post
    It'll be interesting to see how this thread develops.

    Neal
    I was going to respond to Zac with a GOOD QUESTION but I'll just merge that response with this one..

    By afterthought edit.. Dontcha wish the Doctor, or Kerch.. Cornell.. could all chime in here.. the list is long!

    As Neal said, there are so many answers to that question that it boggles the mind!
    Last edited by AAFO_WSagar; 10-20-2021 at 08:45 PM. Reason: just dreaming
    Wayne Sagar
    "Pusher of Electrons"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Understanding the Super Stangs

    Quote Originally Posted by AAFO_WSagar View Post
    I was going to respond to Zac with a GOOD QUESTION but I'll just merge that response with this one..

    By afterthought edit.. Dontcha wish the Doctor, or Kerch.. Cornell.. could all chime in here.. the list is long!

    As Neal said, there are so many answers to that question that it boggles the mind!
    That would be epic, but alas they are all gone. There are still those who can answer, and I hope they will. Its this sort of knowledge that FB lacks, and if this thread takes off, it will be here as long as the site remains so others can learn.

    I think some key points should be
    Who thought up the tail incidence mod first?
    Who had the first wing incidence mod?
    We could step into the whole Mouse Motor evolution (its pretty fascinating.)
    The wing clip delema, how much is too much?

    Or we could focus on Dago, Strega and Voodoo, since each was supposed to be a revised version of the last. Dago is still the fastest of them all however. The differences between Dago, Strega and Voodoo might be the better way to define this thread.

    Will

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Understanding the Super Stangs

    I LIKE it!
    Wayne Sagar
    "Pusher of Electrons"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Understanding the Super Stangs

    Not to stir the pot too much but, "Jeannie" and John Crocker's "Sumpthin Else" could be included in the early part of the history of the super stangs.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Understanding the Super Stangs

    A complicated question indeed. As well as differences between the big 3 there were differences in the same airplane during different periods of its career. Dago 1998 and Dago 2007 could well be more different than Dago vs Strega in, say, 2007.. Strega has run Allison rod motors by Thorn, Barrow, and Nixon. Were they different?

    I'll throw in a quiz question: All these racers started with periods of struggle -- breaking or getting beaten year after year. All were eventually proud and repeat Champions. Is there a factor that all 3 share that seems, when their time of greatness came, to have made a big difference in results -- both speed and reliability?

    If anybody wants to quibble about Dago winning out of the box, remember Ron won at 420 something mph. The year after his win and thereafter you needed a reliable 435 mph plus to win the Gold, and Dago failed the test.

    Neal
    Last edited by wingman; 10-21-2021 at 10:15 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Understanding the Super Stangs

    Quote Originally Posted by wingman View Post
    I'll throw in a quiz question: All these racers started with periods of struggle -- breaking or getting beaten year after year. All were eventually proud and repeat Champions. Is there a factor that all 3 share that seems, when their time of greatness came, to have made a big difference in results -- both speed and reliability?
    "Scoop of chocolate, scoop of vanilla......don't waste my time." :-)
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Understanding the Super Stangs

    For the record, Neal, Hevle won in 1982 at 405ph....but that was only after Crocker pulled out with a blown motor. As I recall, up to that point they were in the 430s head-to-head.

    So to address Zac's question, as Neal pointed out, is a long and complicated one. Dago Red (1982) and Strega (1983) were pretty much identical clones when they came out, except for the canopy. Dago had a flip top and Strega a slider. But they were both based on a combination of what Tiger and Frank Taylor had seen on Jeannie at Reno '81, except with bigger canopies (I recall Zeuschel referring to them as both 'fishbowls' and 'touring canopies' at various times).

    Dago had the initial success, but Strega pulled ahead in development when Dwight Thorne came on board in 1985 and convinced Tiger to go with the Allison-rod program, and when Bill Kerchenfaut came on board in 1986. Kerch came from the Sumthin' Else team, where he had worked with Jim Larsen, and Larsen was really big on airframe refinement. Kerch told Tiger that there was a lot of room for improvement on Strega, to which Tiger told him it was fast enough already. Kerch sort of smiled and nodded his head in a 'yeah, we'll see..." manner.

    So Kerch (and Larsen) brought lots of 'little' but significant aero upgrades (scoop, control surface hinges and holes, profiling) and the cuffed propeller. And Dwight finally had enough $$$ to bring the Mouse Motor on line, and it paid off with the win at Reno '87. During this time Dago had passed on to Alan Preston who had a lot of money, and even though he had a lot of toys to play with, didn't really take much care of the plane. Dago went to David Price in '89 as he and Preston joined forces in the Museum of Flying camp.

    Strega had progressed to the fastest Mustang and Dago was stagnant. I recall Ron Hevle took a test flight in Dago about that time and him saying it was 'really rough' compared to Strega. But starting in 1993, the MoF guys (including Chris Wood and Bruce Lockwood) started dumping a lot of r&d money into the Dago program. They started copying the Strega aero mods (including a couple different types of radiator scoops), new wingtips, wing and fuselage profiling, cuffed prop, and also invested in an Allison-rod Merlin program from Dwight Thorne.

    Now, beyond that point...I am going to put the links up for the Winter and Spring issues of Golden Pylons, which have a great story about Dwight and the Mouse Motor program that kind of tells all the politics of the three-way struggle of the "Jeannie clones" Dago/Strega/Voodoo. Great reading, so I recommend taking the time to do so. It'll answer a lot of questions...including Neal's latest 'quiz'...the answer to which is Bill Kerchenfaut.

    https://www.flipsnack.com/sarhgp/gol...KQQh4g47w-IYTI

    https://www.flipsnack.com/sarhgp/gol...91wW9-eVnKuddM



    As for the differences/similarities between Strega and Voodoo during the 2010-2017 timeframe (after the Golden Pylons stories end), that is yet another convoluted era of rotating pilot seats and rotating engine builders (using Dwight's technology). But that is for another post.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Understanding the Super Stangs

    Interesting info and also fantastic links to the Golden Pylons magazines at flipsnack.

    Question - are the Golden Pylons magazines available as either a paper copy or downloadable pdf file to view offline?

    I suppose a membership to the flipsnap site might be the only way?

    Thanks again!

    Don

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