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3 Apr 11
Sun 'n Fun was hit with a F-1 tornado right in the middle of the show. 40+ airplanes were damaged and vendors tents were tossed everywhere. We ducked inside the museum building to ride out the storm and watch everything fly by the doors. After the storm, we walked out and took some photos which are shown below.
The recovery by the Sun n Fun operation was remarkable. Overnight the grounds were cleaned up and made presentable for the next days activities.
Still I am highly disappointed in the current management of Sun n Fun. It seems as though their primary focus in on making money and featuring corporate aviation. When Sun n Fun began the focus was on homebuilding and experimental aircraft. Now the focus is on presenting an airshow to the public, showcasing corporate aviation and making as much money as possible from the attendees and vendors.
If I attend next year, it will be for for only one day.
|The Caravan's tail said, "Sure Wild
It sure was.
18 Apr 2011
An interesting trip to TX and OK to fly in the Texhoma 100 Race at Sherman, TX. I operated from OKC with the intention of taking family members on flights. However, the winds were 25G40 with peak gusts to 60, so no flying until race day when the winds calmed down somewhat.
My refueling stop from FL to OKC and back was KMEI (Key Field) at Meridian, MS. I highly recommend the airport as a fuel stop. Fuel prices are reasonable and FBO has complimentary food (a great thing for a long cross country stop). It is the best FBO fuel stop I've ever seen. The self service pump is about fifty cents less than truck fuel. The airport is in great condition and the tower is very helpful.
Got in a few flights with family in OKC and then flew to Sherman, TX with nephew Damon Johnson the morning of the race. We arrived an hour before briefing time with plans to fly back to OKC early afternoon and take more family folks up flying. But, some race arrivals were delayed so the race organizers decided to postpone the race until everyone arrived. Well, that meant the race didn't start until mid day so our plans to be in OKC in the afternoon were ruined.
The race was organized by Pat Purcell and she did a good job. It's a lot of work to put on a race like that. I was especially impressed with the race timers. I compared their time for me to my GPS tracker and they were within one second of one another. I didn't see anyone at two of the turn points to validate the racers, so I suspect there might have been a little bit of short cutting going on. But, if you're not cheating, you're not trying.
In hindsight, I did a couple of things wrong that could have knocked another second or two off the clock. I forgot to use ram air until 1 1/2 minutes into the race and I didn't use enough vertical nor cut tight enough on the turns. I had not seen the course before the race so I was a bit tentative about the turn points and two of the points were difficult to see until within a mile or two. The guy with the supercharged F-1 Rocket said he zoomed to 7k' for the final (downlind) leg. He ran the course at 250 MPH. I don't have his supercharged engine, but I may try the same thing next time. I ran 217 MPH (189.9 knots) so that was a good speed. They other IO-390 powered RV-8 ran 221 MPH (192 knots), so that set my benchmark for the next race. I'll keep adding fairings until I get another 3 knots.
Here are some photos from the race.
|A nice selection of airplanes and nice people
to race with.
Thanks to Dr Damon Johnson for the photos.
23 Apr 11
I obviously didn't get all the fairings made before SnF or before the race. That's okay - I'll be able to go faster in the next race.
Lots of sanding and filling today on the main air dams and the upper cuffs.
Next update 28 Apr 11