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Thread: Racing at Reno

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Question Racing at Reno

    I attended Reno in 2003 and was hooked. A job related relocation prevented my attendance this year, but am counting the days until 2005! I am curious if anyone can tell me why the f1 and biplane classes do not use the air start like the other classes. Also, how much does it cost to break into and race the f1's? It is my understanding it is the least expensive class to race in.

    New fan.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    907

    Default Re: Racing at Reno

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    I attended Reno in 2003 and was hooked. A job related relocation prevented my attendance this year, but am counting the days until 2005! I am curious if anyone can tell me why the f1 and biplane classes do not use the air start like the other classes. Also, how much does it cost to break into and race the f1's? It is my understanding it is the least expensive class to race in.
    New fan.
    Re: (essentially Formula One)-
    Fuel tanks in F1's are min. 5 gals, so cruising around is out of the question. Both classes historically did not require radio's, (radio's, batteries, ignition shielding, are all weight). Both usually require hand propping, and if in race trim,. heat up fast and need to GO. With the BIG GUYS they usually have inertia on there side, and if something quits, they can usually make it back, with a "race" engine in a 500lb airplane, you want to stay over large flat surfaces... The closet thing to an "air start" is when a "scatter" pylon is used. That's when t/o direction is opposite of coarse direction, and everyone has to do a 180 to get back on coarse, (it can be quite entertaing).
    ALL the classes require attendence at Pylon Racing School, held around mid June at Stead. Some pilots don't think THEY need any school, but I've truely seen in an increase in skill levels at the races, and I think the school is WELL worth it. I honestly believe it has saved lives. (It allows you to fly the coarse with an (instructor) pilot, and get a feel for required altitude, coarse lines, things to look for, in a much more relaxed atmosphere then race week).
    You should be comfortable in the airplane you choose, landing, possibly even a littlle down wind, with adreneline pumping, things can get interesting, QUICK, let alone in the event of a mayday.
    You should feel comfortable at aerobatics, wakes have thrown guys to near inverted, and 50' is not place to start THAT learning process.
    You should have a reasonable amount of formation time, spacial awareness is critical when your locked into a gaggle of planes.
    You should have a least one crew member that you TRUST! You will have plenty of distractions, and you need someone who's JOB it is, to protect your butt.
    Pilots license and current medical of coarse, all credentials will be checked before you race.
    Check out <www.if1airracing.com> , to get a feel for the class, usually have a few things for sale, too.
    COST, depends on how fast you want to go, if your just getting started, a stock Cassutt is usually the way to go, cost CAN be below $10,000. even cheaper if you can find a project someone gave up on. It's a limited market, so you can usually find some deals. If you get a stocker, you may want to fly it in, otherwise you'll need a trailer (enclosed preferably), and tow rig.
    (Shoestrings, and Midget Mustangs, are also alternatives).
    You can buy the whole package, usually around $30,000.
    In 1980 dollars, (my) team picked up our first "Cassutt-in-a-box", for about $4,000. (some assembly required), borrowed a truck and trailer, and camped out, on site. So it CAN be done CHEAP, local RV rentals are available too, and provisions are made on site as well.
    One of our pilots, used to race r/c's, and determined, the cost difference was about the same.
    A "Slab" wing Cassutt is a good learner, but limited in ultimate performance, with a different wing and tweaking, speeds will increase.
    *If it's a full field, you'll need to qualify, so any old dog, MIGHT just sit and watch the races...(but even last place in the Bronze, your still flying around 180 mph at 50', and NOBODY cares......better hurry, before somebody realizes, we're having fun............
    Join the Forum, it'll allow private posts, and I can piont you in the right direction........Good Luck, hope to see you in '05............Paul

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The Canadian Rockies
    Posts
    2,247

    Default Re: Racing at Reno

    Cassutt action at Reno 2004...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,047

    Default Re: Racing at Reno

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    I am curious if anyone can tell me why the f1 and biplane classes do not use the air start like the other classes.

    In addition to the previous posts 'technical' answers, I think you'll find that the 'race horse' start taken on by the F1's and Bipes is purely a historical throwback to old time racing from the Golden Age.

    The T-6's used 'race horse' starts up until 1981 (after some accidents caused them to go to bigger courses....they used to race on the F-1 course!) From the people I've talked to over the years, if the runway's at Sky Ranch had been suitable, they would have liked to do a 'race horse' start for the Unlimiteds. But that is where the 'air start' was developed, and it has just sort of gradually caught on.

    The 'race horse' starts are dangerous...but I think that's what adds another element of excitment to the smaller classes. And it definitely requires a lot of attention and skill from the pilots!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    reno
    Posts
    573

    Default Re: Racing at Reno

    there's a cassutt on ebay 80% done, current bid is abot three grand

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    907

    Default Re: Racing at Reno

    Re: F1's
    Forgot to mention earlier, DON'T just show up, with any aircraft. There are specific design requirements, wing area/profile, visibility, weight, cg balance, AN hardware, properly safetied, good harness, helmet, (these will all be checked at "tech" inspection). The engine must also meet specific requirements, swept volume, displacement, cam profile, down to needle valve size......ALL kinds of things, that you DON'T want to be fixing AT Reno. Copies of the rules are available, tech inspectors are good guys an accessable. most of the elected members, would be happy to spend time with you to prevent any suprises. Engine breakdown, fuel, and carb inspections are done by race placement, draw, and if "protested". Bummer to win a race, then get disqualified because your carb. had incorrect sized needle valves, that the guy you bought the airplane from, assured you everything was up to spec.
    Basic tools, (cylinder base wrenches, a plus), should be brought. It's a good group, and you can usually borrow anything your short on, but that can start getting 'old' after a while....
    AND there is a MINIMUM pilot weight, so if your a feather-weight, expect to be packing lead, in your shorts. It's a challenging class, speeds as fast as the slower unlimiteds, on a FRACTION of the horse power.
    ..............prepare to addicted.........................................P aul

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mtn. View, Calif.
    Posts
    2,111

    Default Re: Racing at Reno

    Addition:

    I know race horse starts were used in the 30's for "unlimited" type aircraft, and were used for such planes as late as 1970 for the Mojave' race's California 1000, if not later. Must have been quite dangerous....You need a HUGE hardtop or extremely wide runway for such chaotic starts...

    There's a few photos of the Cal-1000 race on this webpage....especially note the third photo from the top...

    QUOTE: "...The aircraft were aligned four abreast and five rows deep...."

    http://www.mojave.ca.us/museum/photos-cftc-airraces.htm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    907

    Default Re: Racing at Reno

    Quote Originally Posted by AirDOGGe
    Addition:
    I know race horse starts were used in the 30's for "unlimited" type aircraft, must have been quite dangerous...
    It's been QUITE dangerous during some of the F1 races, especially when we had a pilot, prone to off-runway excursions.
    Just upwind of the Suburbans, became a VERY popular place to stand, at the starts............................................ ........Paul

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