Grumman F6F Hellcat - too slow for Reno Racing?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by HoHun, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Recently I stumbled upon this search interface for the Reno Racing results:

    Reno Air Racing Association - airshow performers

    As it's possible to search for aircraft type too, I tried to find Grumman F6F racers ... without any success.

    Is the F6F too slow for Reno Racing, is the database incomplete, or are the Hellcats merely hiding under their respective aircraft names instead of responding to the type-based search?

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I'd think they are probably too slow. Last year, at the Camarillo Airshow, they flew a Hellcat, Tigercat and Bearcat together in formation. The put the Hellcat on the outside of the turns, and poor Chris was pouring on all he could give it just to keep with the other 2, and they weren't pushing the throttles too hard.
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    That data base seems pretty accurate. I could tell you first hand that no Hellcat raced last year. As Eric said, I think they're just too slow.
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    As much as I like the Hellcat, it's no match for the Strega, or even a fairly stock Mustang.
     
  5. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    If one really wants to race flying a Grumman, Bearcat is the proven answer.
     
  6. Sweb

    Sweb Member

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    Hellcat=Lead sled with regard to Reno's Unlimited category. It's as slick as a brick. Wasn't designed around a speed requirement, though. It was faster than its PTO opponents but mid 300 mph range was all it could manage. Upping HP could squeeze a little more speed out of it but, let's face it, it isn't a slick machine by any stretch. The F8F is a lot cleaner with a much better Reynold's number. The F6F is way too bluff - barn door frontal area - to be competitively aerodynamic.
     
  7. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Yeah, has a honkin' big wing, heavy, probably more surface area (frontwise) than the Bearcat. I love the F6F. Have heard from more than on person the plane was pilot friendly, made an average pilot look good and a good pilot look great. Strong and manuverable.

    But fast, it isn't. What speed it has comes from the 2K HP engine hanging on the front of it.
     
  8. ONE_HELLCAT

    ONE_HELLCAT Member

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    After going over some of those records, I actually wonder this too. I know the Hellcat wasn't known for its speed, that's why there's a Bearcat. But I mean, there were Wildcats at Reno. It just seems odd that no one ever flew the Hellcat.
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I didn't know there were Wildcats at Reno. Bearcats (Rare Bear comes to mind right away) but it seems the Wildcat might be a tad underpowered for that sort of thing.
     
  10. ONE_HELLCAT

    ONE_HELLCAT Member

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    Apparently there is. I don't know much about Reno and air racing, but it's on that site. Just look on the Aircraft Type list, there's FM-2 and FM-2P.

    Race: Unlimited Bronze
    Date: 2008-09-14
    Laps/Distance: 6 laps, 50.12 mi
    Pilot Name: Camp, Thomas
    Aircraft: Air Biscuit - Race 2
    Type: FM-2 Wildcat
    Time: 09:27.584
    Speed: 264.434
    Place: 5
     
  11. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi everyone,

    So it really seems that the Hellcat has been "conspiciously absent" from Reno ...

    I have prepared a performance analysis of the F6F, comparing it to the Corsair, and I was a bit surprised to see that the F6F-5 didn't come out all that much slower than the F4U-1D I used as a reference (and which is often habitually raced at Reno):

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/te...d-corsair-vs-grumman-f6f-5-hellcat-17293.html

    It seems that the official BuAer power curves didn't take full combat power into account, making the F6F look artificially slow when compared to the F4U ...

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Consider a few things here;

    Aside from the airframe mods that are obvious of Reno Racers, even the "stock" warbirds thrown into the unlimiteds are still modified. All armor plate has been long removed, the old radio equipment that weighed a "ton" has been replaced as well as any navigation equipment.

    BTW as stated an F4F did run at Reno last year as well as an F7F.
     
  13. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Learn something new every day.
     
  14. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I'm not completely sure, but I do know there were Wildcats without the folding wing. What I am not sure about is if the FM-2 was that way. I don't beleive there were any Hellcats without the wing fold, and that adds weight as well. If you compare Mustangs that race with stock warbirds, they are considerably different, and quite a bit lighter. I remember "Huntress III" also had the wings clipped to be a bit shorter.
     
  15. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Just seems the Wildcat/FM2 airframe would be too slow for Reno. Figure it would need at least 2000HP up front. Especially when you're talking about Mustangs, Bearcats and Furies out there with huge, suped up engines pushing at least (if not close to double) that amount.

    But I know next to nothing about Reno so every response to a post is a little more information to digest.
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Also remember this guys - some folks who race at Reno do so just to say they did it. Personally I wouldn't risk damage to the aircraft or engine if I was an aircraft owner and especially if I owned a rare warbird. And also keep in mind that when you race at Reno you're putting a lot of stress on the aircraft if you're looking to be competitive. Some folks will just settle back, take 6th place in the bronze and will just be glad for the experience.
     
  17. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    It would not surprise me to find out that there are more flyable Wildcats than Hellcats. As FB pointed out sometimes AC are raced just to be able to say they were raced. The rarer the AC, the less likely to be raced. As flyable Corsairs become more rare, the less likely to see them raced. In the air shows I have been to, I have seen only one flyable Hellcat but numerous Wildcats(FMs) That, of course, is not a scientific poll,LOL.
     
  18. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Agree with ya' on that one Ren, seen plenty of Wildcats but not many Hellcats. Can count on one hand the number of Hellcats I've seen. But wildcats are out there. Most of them were FM2s.
     
  19. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Wouldn't risk it either.
     
  20. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

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    Unless it is the very last one, race the guts out of it if you want!

    I would guess the large wing area of the Hellcat would be a huge disadvantage in any speed game.

    Making a Hellcat race with a Mustang would be like trying to make a Mustang a carrier plane. Sure it could do it, but not like the Hellcat.
     
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