2013 Reno Gold Race from inside the cockpit

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GregP, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Here is Steven Hinton Jr. winning the 2013 Unlimited Gold Race. Note IAS is on the right and TAS is on the left in the GPS window. RPM and g's are also on the left, and he is mostly between 2 and 4.5 g's or so. What you can't tell is the manifold presure and that is a closely guarded secret. The rpm makes the engine sound the same, but the manifold pressure makes a LOT more or less power with 20-inch changes. There is NO Merlin race engine that can go all 8 laps at 150 inches ... and never WILL be.

    [video]http://www.dashware.net/videos/p-51-cockpit-forward-view-2013-reno-air-races/[/video]
     
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  2. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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  3. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Stevo is a very smooth stick.
     
  4. grampi

    grampi Member

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    Whatever is going on with the manifold pressure, his speed seems to be pretty consistent from beginning to end, so I'd say whatever he's running is the same, or close to the same throughout the entire race...if this were not true, I would think his speeds would be noticeably slower as the race goes on...
     
  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #5 GregP, Dec 31, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
    He absolutely didn't run the same power all the way. He starts at very high manifold pressure and goes 2 laps, pulls 20 inches, goes 2 laps and pulls another 20 inches, and the pulls a last 10 inches for the last two if nobody is catching him. In 2013, they ran slightly higher speeds because Matt Jackson in Strega was trying hard to catch him, but neither one can run a full 8 laps at fill race power without turning into a hand grenade.

    The only reason he is not going maybe 20 mph faster on the first two laps is they don;t come into the race at full speed, they come in at a spoeed the slowest qualifier can handle. So the leader spends a lot of the first lap accelerating. Usually the fastest lap for a liquid-cooled engine is lap 2 or 3. The fastest lap for a radial is usually one of the two last laps.

    That's why there is no manifold pressure gauge on the film ... that display is only for crew use.
     
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  6. RayB

    RayB New Member

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    At the beginning of the video, indicated air speed reaches 544MPH in what looks like level flight. Do you claim that such a speed can be reached without using full power?
     
  7. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

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    GregP,
    That is some low flying! Don't look down or you might scrape yourself off!
    Cheers,
    Biff
     
  8. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Interesting video! Thanks for sharing.
     
  9. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Of course such a speed can be reached, they come DOWN from altitude to start the race, then they usually slow down by the middle of the back lap from goping around the pylons 2 - 3, and must be at race power by about pylon 3 if they don't want to slow down from the g's around the back pylons. The radials almost never have a good first lap because they are still coming up to te,perature.

    There are two places that are relatively straight and they can get an almost-level run of several seconds before coming back to 3 - 5 g's around the pylons. The amount of speed they can carry is heavily dependent on the smoothness of the flying. Pull hard and slow down. Pull gently and fly smoothly and go fast.
     
  10. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Holey Crap..!
    As the famous TV line goes.
     
  11. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I've tried it at 230 mph in a Harmon Rocket around an impromptu course in Arizona that we made up, but Reno is the real deal. All we (the guys and me) did was to fly in loose formation down low at, what to us, was high speed until we scared ourselves, quit, and left to eat lunch.

    High speed to Steve Hinton or Steve Hinton Jr. is another thing entirely. Those guys are GOOD. I am not in their league, but am a safe Cessna / Piper pilot. It's a matter of both experience and the weight and power of the planes you have flown. I've flown 260 hp. These guys are flyng at 50 feet and horsing around 3,850 HP mounts that don't take it kindly when you screw up or get sloppy. The planes I flew were engineered to fly well and very mildly compared with 1,500+ HP WWII fighters that will roll on you if you aply too much power on a go-around.

    I understand the correct procedure on a WWII fighter go-around is to appply as much right rudder as you can and adjust the throttle so you fly straight. If you apply more power than that, you will roll slowly into the ground and cannot recover without reducing the torque (power).

    I had some torque with the modified Van's RV, but the torque on something like Voodoo or Strega must be amazing.

    260 HP cannot overcome the ailerons or rudder on a Van's RV-type aircraft unless you are stalled or close to it, so it's a blast without the same level of risk ... at half the speed. I don't think the skill is linear, it follows a much higher slope than that. It's not unattainable, but does require training that most can't afford without Uncle Sam footing the bill. Some CAN afford it.

    I wish I happened to be one of them, but am not and very probably never will be .. unless the lottery is kind to me. So far, it has been like a fickle girlfriend.
     
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