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Thread: Miss America: RENO AIR RACES 2022 - Exciting Things Happening

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Default Re: Miss America: RENO AIR RACES 2022 - Exciting Things Happening

    Since we can't talk about the details quite yet, what we can do is clarify some details about what you're seeing in the pictures we posted and give everyone a little background. You see guys and gals, in my experience the access Mr. Hisey & crew has given us is unprecedented. Having been on the Dago Team... it's just things you don't talk about to people outside the crew (you know, all that secret squirrel stuff). So since he's opening the doors, and although we all had some fun guessing, it's time to clear up any misconceptions and make sure everyone is on the same page.

    The pictures I posted don't show the aircraft immediately following her race modifications for this year, it shows Miss America following her annual inspection. The airplane won't be looking like that for much longer though as Brent & Miss A have an appearance to make this Fourth of July. So she'll be completely back together and flying again within weeks.

    You're probably now asking if this isn't pictures right after she was modified, when were the modifications completed? Now here's the shocker - airframe & other race mods were done prior to last years race! That's right, everything you see (and don't see) in the 4 pictures were on Miss America for the 2021 event. I tried not to specifically say they were "new modifications", just three modifications you can see in the picture & you might see something new (I never saw it before so it was new to me ;-) ). The scoop & exit door were originally on RRIII (cloned Dago Red mods). The other stuff we can't disclose, but it was all working to near perfection last year. Yes, Brent has been keeping a few secrets - and apparently - some well kept secrets at that. Brent & Miss America's performance last year was no fluke, and from what I'm gathering, there's A LOT more untapped potential.

    You see, Brent's doing it like - well, the best analogy I can think of is when I modded out my 2001 Mustang Cobra. I first talked to a lot of people and did a lot of research. Once I determined what direction I wanted to go I first modified the suspension & strengthened the frame for the car to be able to handle the power. Next was a new clutch, new set of gears (was 3.27's - now 373's), "detroit locker" positrack & fat drag radials to put all that power to good use. Last it was building the motor, procharger (superchargers rock!), and modifying the exhaust & cooling system. So the motor was last to be modified, and as it should be. You need to have all the other systems and modifications well tested and sorted out before you start throwing in the BIG mods...

    Ah, the final piece of the puzzle - the one race mod that wasn't in last year's Miss America, the one not pictured in any of the photos we posted thus far... the new race motor! The Ricky Shanholtzer motor that will be used in Miss America this year is going to be a different beast than you saw in years previous. Again, we cannot disclose the details just yet - but we can say with certainty that this motor will complete a power-train package that is going to be "rather special". Again, the pictures we posted the race motor has yet to be installed - which will be done prior to making the trip to Reno. Ricky will put about 2 hours on the test stand, crew will make the swap, then Brent will put another 6 hours on the race motor during the flight to Reno.

    One final thing... there was something modified from last year (one you can't see and I found out about this weekend) which involves strengthening the airframe to address the fuselage oil canning under heavy load. It's not and never has been an issue on the aircraft, but it's obviously concerning enough for the crew to begin looking at addressing it before it becomes an issue. The modifications done should reduce the degree of oil canning, but not eliminate it. All top unlimited class racers do it to a degree so staying in that comfort zone is what the team is targeting.

    Yes, the pictures you guys take do make a difference! (remember the Voodoo bubbles pictures?)

    That's all for today... should have something more next week!
    Mark K....

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,220

    Default Re: Miss America: RENO AIR RACES 2022 - Exciting Things Happening

    Thanks for the update Mark, hope your wife is well.

    So in summary, the "major" mods that have been in discussion were already completed prior to racing last year, and this year's changes are the airframe strengthening (nice work Will), and the engine program.

    As the messenger of the MA fans, please ask that merch is available! I'm sure Valley of Speed would love to help out if Brent doesn't want that burden.
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '21

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    2,003

    Default Re: Miss America: RENO AIR RACES 2022 - Exciting Things Happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Pylon1_Mark View Post
    Since we can't talk about the details quite yet, what we can do is clarify some details about what you're seeing in the pictures we posted and give everyone a little background. You see guys and gals, in my experience the access Mr. Hisey & crew has given us is unprecedented. Having been on the Dago Team... it's just things you don't talk about to people outside the crew (you know, all that secret squirrel stuff). So since he's opening the doors, and although we all had some fun guessing, it's time to clear up any misconceptions and make sure everyone is on the same page.

    The pictures I posted don't show the aircraft immediately following her race modifications for this year, it shows Miss America following her annual inspection. The airplane won't be looking like that for much longer though as Brent & Miss A have an appearance to make this Fourth of July. So she'll be completely back together and flying again within weeks.

    You're probably now asking if this isn't pictures right after she was modified, when were the modifications completed? Now here's the shocker - airframe & other race mods were done prior to last years race! That's right, everything you see (and don't see) in the 4 pictures were on Miss America for the 2021 event. I tried not to specifically say they were "new modifications", just three modifications you can see in the picture & you might see something new (I never saw it before so it was new to me ;-) ). The scoop & exit door were originally on RRIII (cloned Dago Red mods). The other stuff we can't disclose, but it was all working to near perfection last year. Yes, Brent has been keeping a few secrets - and apparently - some well kept secrets at that. Brent & Miss America's performance last year was no fluke, and from what I'm gathering, there's A LOT more untapped potential.

    You see, Brent's doing it like - well, the best analogy I can think of is when I modded out my 2001 Mustang Cobra. I first talked to a lot of people and did a lot of research. Once I determined what direction I wanted to go I first modified the suspension & strengthened the frame for the car to be able to handle the power. Next was a new clutch, new set of gears (was 3.27's - now 373's), "detroit locker" positrack & fat drag radials to put all that power to good use. Last it was building the motor, procharger (superchargers rock!), and modifying the exhaust & cooling system. So the motor was last to be modified, and as it should be. You need to have all the other systems and modifications well tested and sorted out before you start throwing in the BIG mods...

    Ah, the final piece of the puzzle - the one race mod that wasn't in last year's Miss America, the one not pictured in any of the photos we posted thus far... the new race motor! The Ricky Shanholtzer motor that will be used in Miss America this year is going to be a different beast than you saw in years previous. Again, we cannot disclose the details just yet - but we can say with certainty that this motor will complete a power-train package that is going to be "rather special". Again, the pictures we posted the race motor has yet to be installed - which will be done prior to making the trip to Reno. Ricky will put about 2 hours on the test stand, crew will make the swap, then Brent will put another 6 hours on the race motor during the flight to Reno.

    One final thing... there was something modified from last year (one you can't see and I found out about this weekend) which involves strengthening the airframe to address the fuselage oil canning under heavy load. It's not and never has been an issue on the aircraft, but it's obviously concerning enough for the crew to begin looking at addressing it before it becomes an issue. The modifications done should reduce the degree of oil canning, but not eliminate it. All top unlimited class racers do it to a degree so staying in that comfort zone is what the team is targeting.

    Yes, the pictures you guys take do make a difference! (remember the Voodoo bubbles pictures?)

    That's all for today... should have something more next week!
    If they are having to beef up the structure to help with the oil canning, I assume they have not taken the offset out of the vertical stabilizer which is what cause most of it? Seems like they'd want the drag reduction.

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Default Re: Miss America: RENO AIR RACES 2022 - Exciting Things Happening

    Quote Originally Posted by Race5 View Post
    If they are having to beef up the structure to help with the oil canning, I assume they have not taken the offset out of the vertical stabilizer which is what cause most of it? Seems like they'd want the drag reduction.
    Vertical stab has been zeroed and 0.150 offset on the nose to help Brent fly straight... so it's a different issue causing it.
    Last edited by Pylon1_Mark; 06-11-2022 at 05:12 PM. Reason: corrected offset value on nose
    Mark K....

  5. #55
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    Sep 2002
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    Default Re: Miss America: RENO AIR RACES 2022 - Exciting Things Happening

    Quote Originally Posted by GRNDP51 View Post
    Thanks for the update Mark, hope your wife is well.
    Thanks for asking - she's home resting comfortably now. Gave me a good scare since the EMT's were there when I arrived, but I'm actually kinda used to it now (list of her meds on the counter, hospital bag packed). She's doing better - I'll be staying at home this week from work to make sure she stays comfortable so it's all good.

    Quote Originally Posted by GRNDP51 View Post
    As the messenger of the MA fans, please ask that merch is available! I'm sure Valley of Speed would love to help out if Brent doesn't want that burden.
    Brent & crew are reading this thread bro - so if they haven't already read your message, they soon will
    Mark K....

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
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    8,716

    Default Re: Miss America: RENO AIR RACES 2022 - Exciting Things Happening

    I am LOVING this thread!! We are all SO very lucky that Mark is where he is... he did a very good job covering Dago when he was active ATC in CA, now teaching at the sky cop academy, he's truly right in the heart of this story!

    It is also taking the heat off me while I deal with some scary medical issues!

    Not that he has all that much spare time dealing with Kim's issues... He's a good man!
    Wayne Sagar
    "Pusher of Electrons"

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Default Re: Miss America: RENO AIR RACES 2022 - Exciting Things Happening

    Wife is the first priority.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Default Re: Miss America: RENO AIR RACES 2022 - Exciting Things Happening

    It's going to be tomorrow before I can do my weekly update (lots to process) but I did happen upon something that made me say "OMG", that takes no explanation at all.

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    An air racer's hangar has all the cool stuff!

    Then sitting just to the right.... there was something that didn't pop-out as special, but when I found out air racers they came off of, I was - whoa! It's like a shrine to air racers past.
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    Left to right: Mr. Awesome, RRIII, Leeward Air Ranch Special

    Update tomorrow - have fun!
    Mark K....

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
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    529

    Default Re: Miss America: RENO AIR RACES 2022 - Exciting Things Happening



    As you can see, Miss America is coming back together in preparation for this year's race at Reno. One of the things being done is sealing up the fuselage & wings - as shown in the first 2 pictures below. What can't be seen is how this extends into areas of the aircraft that are hidden due to control surfaces... and Greg Butler (Team Miss A) showed me there are quite a few holes to cover!!! Inevitably some air will get into the fuselage due to the areas that cannot be sealed, so you'll see in the third picture how the crew plans on dealing with that issue - NACA ducts in the inspection panels to allow any trapped air to escape. In the fourth picture you'll note that the main wheels/tires are back on and the prop (which was on the deck in the foreground previously) is missing... prop is getting serviced and should be back in the shop soon.

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    While I was there, Scotty Butler (Team Miss A) was kind enough to show me an area of the aircraft which has always been hidden during race week, and one which I was very curious about... the wing's fuel storage areas. The structure of the aircraft is hidden with metal flashing on all sides to prevent chaffing of the bladder. The bladder itself is attached to the wing with chord running at the top edge of the bladder... simple yet effective. In the 3rd picture below, you can see how the wing gun panel covers have been reinforced to aid in the overall structural rigidity of the wing... something the stock covers never had. The 4th picture is Miss A's right bladder tank, & the 5th picture is a "new stock" P-51 bladder (self-sealing), just thrown in for fun. :-)

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    It was stated earlier in this thread that the front scoop & rear ventilation flap were off of Dan Martin's Ridge Runner III (scoop detail on first picture). Brent, Greg, & Scotty, all told me how instrumental Dan has been to the team during this process and continues to be a irreplaceable asset. His help in not only providing the parts necessary to complete the project, but also the expertise to maximize it's potential has been key. One of the reasons why Miss America's engine was running cool at 100% power the entirety of last year's race can be directly attributed to Dan's help. As you can see in picture 2, Miss America has a single spray-bar, and the oil radiator was eliminated in favor of a heat exchanger (which we will discuss below). Lastly, the 3rd photo shows the wing's rear fairing, which also was from RRIII. I thought it was curious that the fairing wasn't modeled after Dago's like the scoop & flap were, it was modeled after Strega's fairing. A quick look at my old photos confirmed this - interesting, I'm liking it!

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    OK, let's discuss the business end of the aircraft, or more correctly... now that the oil radiator is gone just where is that heat exchanger (essentially an oil radiator which uses the after-coolant fluid as a cooling medium instead of air as in the normal radiator system - it was stock on the P-51H models)? Why was it not located in the engine bay as it is on a P-51H, or like it is on Voodoo, Dago Red, or Strega? I think this is best explained by 1st showing you a diagram of a stock P-51's oil/engine cooling system. In the graphic below you can see that if you eliminate the oil radiator, installing a new method of cooling the oil & locating that heat exchanger just in front of the oil tank makes a lot of sense. The plumbing is much simplified and easier to execute with the oil tank, oil lines, & coolant lines right there to tap into. So from a design perspective, this is where it should be.



    This is the way the stock P-51H & racers like Dago Red have done it in the past. It works well and hasn't proven to be an area that needed to be improved upon, until now. As shown below in a photo from Reno 2000, the heat exchanger on Dago Red (pictured below) was located just in front of the oil tank & behind the motor (that bronzish colored round metal tube with silver metal endcaps). A good location for installation's sake but there is one major drawback - heat soak. Locating the heat exchanger inside the engine cowling (where airflow is limited & engine heat extreme) is going to effect the overall efficiency of the system.


    Dago Red - Reno 2000

    Now Miss America's engine bay isn't that different than in year's past - you still see the battery located just behind the aftercooler housing. Pictured below is the stock motor, but the race motor installation & systems will be identical.



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    What team Miss America & Pete Law have done is to relocate the heat exchanger to the luggage compartment behind the pilot. Greg told me Pete has wanted to do this modification for a very long time & puts the heat exchanger exactly where it should be... as close to the radiator as possible. Also, oil cooling will be aided by the increased inflow & return line lengths from the heat exchanger to the motor. So from an engineering perspective, this is where the heat exchanger should go. The stock P-51H heat exchanger end caps have also been modified with larger diameter fittings to allow for increased flow... courtesy of Ricky Shanholtzer. So no, it's not a stock P-51H heat exchanger but neither is the aftercooler. The aftercooler is also custom one-off unit from Ricky that's built to absorb manifold pressures beyond 100 inches as Mr. Hisey intends on doing at Reno this year (stock aftercooler radiator vanes tend to crack at higher boost levels, so Ricky must have something in mind to address this known issue).

    That's all for now - stay tuned!
    Last edited by Pylon1_Mark; 06-13-2022 at 08:42 PM.
    Mark K....

  10. #60

    Default Re: Miss America: RENO AIR RACES 2022 - Exciting Things Happening

    Wow Mark, that was one heck of a report. Thanks!


    Will

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