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Thread: Miss America 2023 - Let's get it done!

  1. #1
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    Default Miss America 2023 - Let's get it done!


    Following the heartbreak of having to stand-down for Reno 2022, pilot/owner Brent Hisey is not letting any time waste away before beginning work on Miss America to diagnose the problem(s) that lead up to it. Despite anything and everything that could stand in the way - the team remains more committed than ever to get the aircraft to Stead for Reno 2023. According to team member Greg Butler, "Even though we have a long time until Reno we're not going wait one second - Brent said let's get it done, so that's exactly what's happening".

    The race motor was removed and sent down to Rick Shanholtzer's shop down in Texas where he went through every part of the motor including the heads, blower, aftercooler, heat exchanger, and the nosecase (cover all your bases). In the attached photos you can see pretty much everything was taken out of the aircraft's nose, with the canopy removed for easy access to the heat exchanger. After many hours spent inspecting all of the components Rick's assessment couldn't have been better. The damage was totally confined to the nosecase only, the motor and all the other components are 100%.


    The bearing in the nosecase spun... and upon inspection was found to have been three-times oversized (removal of the previous bearing must have caused some damage, which would require the flange to be machined larger and oversized bearing fit in place, so this must have happened twice before.) Not that it being oversized is a bad thing, it just became the weak point (during take-off & in-flight the prop was heavily loaded for the first time, putting stress on the bearing it hadn't seen yet). So with that said, the really awesome news is that the gears themselves look great but will be sent off to get magnafluxed to check for micro-cracks in the metal, just in case. The nosecase is now at Roush Aviation where they are adding metal to the nosecase and then will machine for fitment of a stock sized bearing. The team also has another nosecase just in case this process doesn't work out (adding metal or welding to it AND produce acceptable results isn't 100% doable all of the time - accidents happen and it only takes a very small one here to trash the entire assembly). I do recall some fitment issues with the nosecase & block causing some unfortunate delays back in September, so I'm assuming the fitment issue would be harder to complete as I remember Rick having that thing off and on the motor no less than a dozen times before he was satisfied with it. Whichever way they decide to go, it will be corrected and soon.

    Current plans call for the motor to arrive for install sometime before Christmas, which means that the motor should be on the test stand and running around mid-December (Rick wants to complete the break-in period on the test stand since they now have the time). After the team gets the race motor back in Miss America and after Brent successfully completes some initial test flights, the team will take ferry the aircraft to Stead for the 2023 PRS where Brent will have to opportunity to take Miss A out on the course at speed. Getting acquainted to that much power from that yellow motor hanging out there on the nose is going to take a little getting used to, and the PRS is a perfect opportunity for that. Both team members Scotty & Greg Butler let us know that Miss America has a "stash" of race fuel & there's a good possibility we'll see some full-power laps at the PRS this year as Brent does intend to push it a bit!


    After the PRS the aircraft will be "pickled" for September's race and left at Stead. Since the team intends on running race fuel at the PRS, the tanks need to be drained and cleaned. Fuel pumps will also be replaced during this maintenance cycle as well as a host of other little things. Talking about replacing the fuel pumps, you can see the replacement pumps in the photo above (bottom center-right) still in the plastic shipping wrap. The ones in Miss America now were new and never having seen race fuel are good to go. Besides the set shown above, the crew has yet another set that is in the process of being rebuilt - never hurts to have a backup.

    So there you have it... damage minimal and limited to the nosecase bearing only leaving team Miss America well ahead of the power curve in preparation for Reno 2023. More as it becomes available!
    Last edited by Pylon1_Mark; 10-30-2022 at 07:22 PM.
    Mark K....

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Miss America 2023 - Let's get it done!

    I assume the entire motor will be stripped down and cleaned since enough metal made it through the system to foul the screens?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Miss America 2023 - Let's get it done!

    Quote Originally Posted by Race5 View Post
    I assume the entire motor will be stripped down and cleaned since enough metal made it through the system to foul the screens?
    Yes, already done.... no damage to the motor or internals. Motor is back together waiting for the nosecase to arrive back from Roush Aviation from what I understand.
    Mark K....

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    Default Re: Miss America 2023 - Let's get it done!

    Thanks for the update. The more inputs to AAFO the better it is to keep it going.
    Lockheed Bob

  5. #5

    Default Re: Miss America 2023 - Let's get it done!

    Excellent report, and this is great news to hear!

    Forgive the "stupid question", but can someone elaborate on the concern for cleaning the fuel system after using race gas? As someone who just drained 3 gallons of grocery store 10% ethanol gas out of a lawn tractor, and replaced it with a gallon of Avgas for winter storage, I sorta understand, but I'm not well versed in the chemistry of what Steve Stavrakakis used to call "Funny Fuel"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Miss America 2023 - Let's get it done!

    Great report Mark! Looks like I'll have to plan for two trips to Reno next year!

    Let me edit that.. looks like WE are going to have to make it twice next year!! You da Man!!
    Wayne Sagar
    "Pusher of Electrons"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Miss America 2023 - Let's get it done!

    Quote Originally Posted by N22252 View Post

    Forgive the "stupid question"
    A teacher once told me there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers!

    Never heard of long term storage issues with race fuel but there are a lot of exotic additives going on there to make the fuel "poof" instead of "bang" when the charge is under great pressure, there are a few folks here who can answer a lot of fuel questions better than I could
    Wayne Sagar
    "Pusher of Electrons"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Miss America 2023 - Let's get it done!

    Quote Originally Posted by N22252 View Post
    Excellent report, and this is great news to hear!
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by N22252 View Post
    Forgive the "stupid question", but can someone elaborate on the concern for cleaning the fuel system after using race gas? As someone who just drained 3 gallons of grocery store 10% ethanol gas out of a lawn tractor, and replaced it with a gallon of Avgas for winter storage, I sorta understand, but I'm not well versed in the chemistry of what Steve Stavrakakis used to call "Funny Fuel"
    Good question... and as Wayne alluded to - it's mainly the additives to the fuel that causes an excessive amount of corrosion. Liquid manganese is used to increase the octane quality of the race fuel - but that's not the only additive that can be used in unlimited class racing. More exotic additives could also be added like hydrazine (H), nitromethane (nitro), and the like... but at a cost. (Nitro is a mono-propellant that carries its own oxygen supply. H is an oxygen scavenging agent. When you combine the two - even with just a tiny percent of H in the mixture, you get an unstable fuel that is at war with itself). Insanely dangerous, yes -but internal combustion nirvana of the highest order is a guaranteed result. Handled improperly hydrazine will kill you in ways you can't even spell, but it's a glorious part of the history and heritage of the thing we call racing. Now don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that Miss America runs nitro & H additives... I'm also not saying I know of it being used - only that this is a known way boost performance in motorsports racing (but back in 2002/03 I was observing Kerch prepare Dago's fuel by pouring in a small amount of some unknown liquid - say 10 to 12 oz - into the tank after fueling. It took a good 60+ seconds to pour that little amount of additive into the tank and he was intensely concentrating the entire time. In short, you'd be hard pressed to convince me that was only liquid manganese... but I figured if they wanted me to know they would have told me, so I didn't ask any questions). Let's not forget, this is unlimited class racing - anything goes, fuel enhancement additives included.

    You know, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's three, with a bit of explanation included. In brief, the middle photo is the race fuel pump, the photo on the right is the ADI pump. The corrosion on the screens & on the body of the pump is very visable.




    text/photos below posted previously in the Miss America 2022 thread

    The 1st photo below shows the pumps following removal. The unit on the left is a modified stock P-51 pump but the right pump is actually modified F-86 fuel pump. Both pumps have been modified with stainless steel impellors to deal with the corrosive effects of the 160 octane race gas & liquid manganese). You can see when looking closely at the screens that the pump for ADI/spray-bar water in photo #3 shows much less corrosion than the pump in photo #2 (pump used for fuel & manganese mix). Seeing this, it's easy to understand why the impellors have been replaced with stainless steel ones on both units and why maintenance is critical.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hope that helps to explain it.
    Last edited by Pylon1_Mark; 10-31-2022 at 07:31 PM.
    Mark K....

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Miss America 2023 - Let's get it done!

    Quote Originally Posted by AAFO_WSagar View Post
    ... looks like WE are going to have to make it twice next year!!
    Already put in my leave requests at work... for PRS & Reno both!

    Thanks for the kind words as well - I'm like Avis... we try harder!
    (sorry, having watched "the Orville" - the Avis rent-a-car moto in the series was classic!)
    Mark K....

  10. #10

    Default Re: Miss America 2023 - Let's get it done!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pylon1_Mark View Post
    Already put in my leave requests at work... for PRS & Reno both!

    Thanks for the kind words as well - I'm like Avis... we try harder!
    (sorry, having watched "the Orville" - the Avis rent-a-car moto in the series was classic!)
    We should have a good class at PRS. Likely Miss A, a couple Yaks, and several other Mustangs. Who knows what else will show up. I have it penciled in. Might come out the Friday before and try to get in on the A2A stuff with the sport guys. I think we will have lots of laps from both Miss A, and Scotty in the Yak. I'm hoping Sam Davis will send Miss Trinidad up for some shakedown course time. Perhaps we might get Mckinstrys Yak as well.

    I wonder who the new Unlimited instructor will be since we lost Sherm?

    Will

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