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Dusty Dowd

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  • Dusty Dowd

    Getting ready for Reno.

    The Intricacies of Getting Ready for Reno - FLYING Magazine

  • #2
    Now for a little backstory that has a lot to do with this forum. After the races in 2016 Dusty was asking for pics of the plane, and posted a newspaper clipping showing one of my pictures. I was a lot perplexed by how one of my pics found its way into a newspaper from Kansas. I questioned this and Dusty was very apologetic about the use of my pic without consent. So we got to talking, and I mentioned I had a lot of shots of him from various places around the course as 2016 was my first year to shoot from the pylons. He was interested in seeing them so I sent them his way. As it turned out, this pic really got his attention... Its not the sharpest pic, but it does show some interesting stuff.

    Specifically the exhaust plume. This lead to the decision to redo the exhaust system to provide thrust in a forward direction. After seeing this pic he did some digging through the old NACA reports and found that there was substantial power to be had with the R1830 by reconfiguring the exhaust. To do this however required modifications to the fuselage. Appart came the Yak. Being super busy with his crop dusting service, he didn't have time to work on the Yak much.

    He's made progress, the new exhaust system is complete, but the work on the fuselage and cowling have taken a LOT of time. I really hope he can get another chance to race the plane and see if it will go 400+, although it will be on a new course, wherever that might be.

    So, yeah, in a way I'm directly responsible for Dusty not racing the Yak since 2016. I am grateful to call Dusty a friend. We likely never would have crossed paths had he not posted the pic of the newspaper article here. In the years since I have always shared my pics of any aircraft he was associated with so they could be scrutinized for any issues be it oil canning, exhaust plumes pointing the wrong way, cowlings opening up ect. This includes my pics of Miss Trinidad from 2023. He has noticed many small details visible from the oil streaks down the side, to part of the cowling pulling open, to landing gear doors and flaps pulling open. Some of these are simply drag issues, some could be safety issues. Either way, I am honored to have the chance to help make racers faster and safer.

    Since its talked about in the article, here is a shot showing how the spinner reduces drag and you can just make out some of the spinner afterbody.

    Hopefully Dusty will find some time to chime in here.



    • #3
      That's a great story Will, thanks for sharing!

      I was very pleased to meet Dusty at Reno last year and I hope he does return to racing, wherever that may be.
      Zac in NZ


      • #4
        Will graciously introduced me to Dusty at Reno last year, would love to have been in better health to spend some time with him! Who knows what the future holds...
        Wayne Sagar
        "Pusher of Electrons"