One second at RENO..

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Skyhook, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. Skyhook

    Skyhook

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    Interesting and probably somewhat accurate..

    "One Second in the Life of a Racer" by Tom Fey

    The Unlimiteds go flashing through the racecourse, engines howling, air
    shearing, heat waves streaming. Four hundred eighty miles an hour is 8 miles
    a minute, and the elite racers take about 70 seconds to cover the 9.1 mile
    Reno course.

    If you could take a souped P-51 racer flying the circuit at Reno, slow time
    down, and examine just one second, what would you find? In that one second,
    the V-12 Rolls-Royce Merlin engine would have gone through 60 revolutions,
    with each of the 48 valves slamming open and closed 30 times. The twenty
    four spark plugs have fired 720 times. Each piston has traveled a total of
    60 feet in linear distance at an average speed of 41 miles per hour, with
    the direction of movement reversing 180 degrees after every 6 inches. Three
    hundred and sixty power pulses have been transmitted to the crankshaft
    making 360 sonic booms as the exhaust gas is expelled from the cylinder with
    a velocity exceeding the speed of sound. The water pump impeller has spun 90
    revolutions, sending 4 gallons of coolant surging through the engine and
    radiators. The oil pumps have forced 47 fluid ounces, roughly one-third
    gallon, of oil through the engine, oil cooler, and oil tank, scavenging heat
    and lubricating the flailing machinery. The supercharger rotor has completed
    348 revolutions, it's rim spinning at Mach 1, forcing 4.2 pounds or 55 ft #
    f ambient air into the combustion chambers under 3 atmospheres of boost
    pressure. Around 9 fluid ounces of high octane aviation fuel, 7843 BTU's
    worth of energy, has been injected into the carburetor along with 5.3 fluid
    ounces of methanol/water anti-detonant injection fluid. Perhaps 1/8 fluid
    ounce of engine oil has been either combusted or blown overboard via the
    crankcase breather tube. Over 1.65 million foot pounds of work have been
    done, the equivalent of lifting a station wagon to the top of the Statue of
    Liberty. In that one second, the hard-running Merlin has turned the
    propeller through 25 complete revolutions, with each of the blade tips
    having arced through a distance of 884 feet at a rotational velocity of 0.8
    Mach. Fifteen fluid ounces of spray bar water has been atomized and spread
    across the face of
    the radiator to accelerate the transfer of waste heat from the cooling
    system to the atmosphere. In that one second, the aircraft itself has
    traveled 704 feet, close to 1/8 mile, or roughly 1.5% of a single lap. The
    pilot's heart has taken 1.5 beats, pumping 5.4 fluid ounces of blood through
    his body at a peak pressure of 4.7 inches of mercury over ambient pressure.

    Our pilot happened to inspire during our measured second, inhaling
    approximately 30 cubic inches (0.5 liter) of oxygen from the on-board
    system, and 2.4 million, yes million, new red blood cells have been formed
    in the pilot's bone marrow.

    In just one second, an amazing sequence of events have taken place beneath
    those polished cowlings and visored helmets. It's the world's fastest
    motorsport.

    Don't blink!
     
  2. thanospro

    thanospro

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    I'm worn out now!
     

  3. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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  4. Skyhook

    Skyhook

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    I sent this to my cousin who has a varied and enviable work history in general aviation.

    His reply contained the statement that he really liked the info and that he has been in the pits at Reno a couple of times and had some 'up close and personal' contacts with the iron. I had no idea!

    (Gawd, I am a bit envious.)
     
  5. Santa CruZin

    Santa CruZin Searching

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  6. Santa CruZin

    Santa CruZin Searching

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    <--- attending Reno Air Races since 1976. ;f
     
  7. Skyhook

    Skyhook

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    And don't I wish you'd be able to add, ".. and see Skyhook there each and every time."

    Oh, well.
     
  8. CFII

    CFII

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    I wish I would go to a race one of these days. There is not a finer rich mans sport. Nothing like a race that has literally ZERO room for error.
     
  9. .45SureShot

    .45SureShot

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    When is the Reno air race?

    ~Alex
     
  10. m1shooter

    m1shooter

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  11. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    Never been to the races, but here's my little story. Last year just after the races a gentleman came into my store asking about a particular model television. I happened to be up front when he walked in so I escorted him back to the home theater section. I noticed the Reno Air Races logo on his shirt and asked him if he had happened to have been there. He replied, "yes, I just got back. I was the Grand Marshall". Then he stuck out his hand to me and said "I'm Gene Cernan".

    You could have knocked me down with a feather at that point. ;P ;f
     
  12. Skyhook

    Skyhook

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    "He replied, "yes, I just got back. I was the Grand Marshall". Then he stuck out his hand to me and said "I'm Gene Cernan"."

    Kodak moment if ever there was one.. ^c