Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Sunday 7 September 2008

Air Mayhem - Reno

The International Herald Tribune reports that a competitor has been killed at this year's Reno Air Races; this follows three deaths at last year's event. In consequence the US Federal Aviation Authority plans to keep a closer eye on procedures at Reno (elsewhere - especially in England - of course, this madness would have been banned years ago I suppose - good for the Americans!).

I have mentioned before that I have had a life-long fascination with military aircraft. At Reno, aircraft dating from the Second World War and shortly afterwards compete over a simple course marked out by pylons. These aircraft are not quite as the designers intended: they are hot-rods - highly polished, with engines that have been extensively developed. I believe that the outright speed record is held at 507mph achieved by a P-51 Mustang. There are no jets, only propeller aircraft are permitted to race, but these highly-modified craft regularly reach 500mph (800kph) whilst flying as low as 50 feet (17m) from the ground. And I love the noise they make.

Here's a short clip presented by former F1 driver Damon Hill which provides an introduction to the races.

If "aero-porn" appeals then you simply must click on this link. It features some breathtaking flying; it's loud, rock 'n' roll, high-energy and very American!

Until the next time

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