Not that anybody cares but here is my take on the races. I am a complete newb to the pylon racing scene and knew nothing about it at the start of the year, and not much more now. The sams guys have a great thing going. The races I have been to have been great events, lots of pilots and spectators, very little if any drama/whining. Seems to me there is a class for everyone, especially if they allow the t-34 in bronze. If money is the issue run bronze, you could probably get the guys out there to donate enough parts to put a bronze plane together. A silver plane is going to be a little more expensive, but you can easily break out in silver with a stock w/m mustang stock ys and 30% fuel. Seems to me this is the most competitive and toughest class to win anyway. Silver always has the most pilots, and the planes dont have to be pushed past thier limits so they usually finish the race. Gold is obviously more money to run, but you dont have to play with the big dogs. Hell I would love to go race in reno next year, but I'm lacking in a couple areas so I race models. Pick the class that best fits your experiance /wallet and go have fun.
I dont think any pilots that want to race are sitting home because of the way the rules are now. If they were racers they would find a way to compete. I agree with skids on the investment in the air, I dont want my gold plane up there with some yahoo that has $200 worth of crap in the air and no skin in the game. Have to agree with Dave on the nitro, start checking fuel and I'm out too. It would be nice to keep them looking like real airplanes, but people are always going to bend the rules till they break. An unlimited class would be sweet, but hey we cant have everything. Unlimited racing is within driving distance.
I want to thank all of the C/Ds for putting the events together, and all of the workers that make it possible. Also thanks to big Joe for the great announcing, wouldnt be the same without you. And dont forget the Redding boys, They put on one hell of a nice event at a great field. Still wondering how they have so much pull with the weather, no way they can pull that off again!
P.S. What did Richard ever do to anybody? J/k
I, for one, do care and am glad to hear you weigh-in. It is the guys that are just becoming interested in this type of competition that will keep these events going strong for a long time to come. Airraptor, likewise I am happy to hear that you plan on joining us this upcoming season; and hope you realize how much we all value your input.
One of the things that I think makes this particular race format popular is that the majority of the elements were well-balanced to begin with. We've all seen technology change over the years, so those elements that begin to stray too far out of balance get reviewed and adjusted, due to input such as yours; and will continue to be adjusted, as necessary. At the same time, a relative consistency in those rules has also been necessary because all too many of us can't afford to continually replace ALL our equipment.
Therfore, it could also be argued that there is a certain level of fairness maintained by knowing that once you have made the investment in whatever the current standard, that the rules are not going to suddenly change on you,suddenly invalidatingyour investment in engines, airframes, etc.
As an example, I for one never owned a YS until I became interested in racing. Now I own 14 of them in every displacment and mutation they've offered over the last 15 years. It seems every time I finally bite the financial bullet and invest in the latest and greatest engine, they suddenly come up with an improved model that makes my relatively new acquisition(s) just a little less impressive. If that wasn't enough, I've also spent years trying to design my own airframes in attempts to better optimize the performance envelope within a given Wing Area/Engine chart, only to have that investment of time largely invalidated by our last revision to better put 2-strokes on a more even playing field. With such substantial investments of time and money, it can get discouraging, but this is "in my blood" and as 1beege stated, "Those that are racers will find a way to compete." I think that is part of the challenge that helps to make this sport so rewarding . . . that season when you finally 'get it right.' On that note, in my opinion the big bright side was that the latest chart was much more comprehensive and seemed less written for particular displacments of engines - short of putting the OS 2-strokes on a more even footing with the YS engines for the Bay Area guys to be able to compete effectively in Silver with the plane/engine combos they were already running in their races, and at speeds closely approximating those they were used to flying. In my opinion, this also shows SAM's willingness to respond to this type of input in order to be as fair as reasonably possible, while maintaining the intent of the event.
As I have just redesigned some of my planes, and am working on new plugs and wing designs to better fit the latest revisions, I personally can't help but hope it stays consistent for awhile.
So don't worry Jake . . . I start building this month! I can't wait to see which which "secret weapon" better gets it right! (Of course, referencing the German Peenemunde facility while having a Me 209 build thread indicates a lapse in your security protocols. It's not much of a secret.