I’m a gear head and propeller head
The biggest roar of engines you will ever hear!
And one of the few places you will hear them is where I was this week, AirVenture 2016 in Oshkosh, WI. I’m sure I’m not alone where I say that I get excited hearing a car like a new Corvette jump on the throttle as it comes out of a turn. Well take that feeling and multiply it by, let’s say 10! And if you think a Hellcat Charger at 700 hp is a lot, multiply that by about four and you have the horsepower of many of the engines in the warbirds up here, even more for the jets. In case you’re not familiar with the event it is the largest gathering of aviation enthusiasts in the world, held every year in Oshkosh, and hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). The event, which began on July 24th and runs through July 31st, spans the entire spectrum of aviation. It attracts 10,000 airplanes and more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts from all over the world. If you haven’t I would highly encourage you to come to this event just once. It is a hoot.
This year is my 8th year as a volunteer over in KidVenture where I give the youngsters, and some adults, stick time on a radio controlled airplane. Many times the kids will ask their parents if they can get a plane so my job is to tell them the options and costs. This does not take a lot of cash to get into. You can purchase a trainer now that is made of a durable foam, includes a battery, charger, and transmitter for just $300. How much did it take you to get into car collecting? Go here to check out more about it or message me.
Largest gathering of Mustang power in the world
Ford is a major sponsor of the event which means you’ll see a Shelby Mustang and most likely a Ford GT outside of their large exhibit area. There is even more eye candy at the Roush Mustang area. Some really serious giddy up and go here so let’s have some fun comparing the two Mustangs, a P-51 Mustang, plus for fun an F-15 jet.
GT350R Shelby Mustang: 5.2-liter V-8, 526 hp, 429 lb-ft of torque, 0-60 in 4.3 seconds, 190 top speed (est), costs just under $60 grand. This is not a car for Sunday drives with the family unless it’s just you and your significant other because there is no back seat. Buy this on a Friday and go racing with it on Saturday. What fun.
Roush Stage 3 Mustang: 5.0L V8 engine which includes Roush Performance’s new 2.3L TVS supercharger and you’ve got a 670 HP beast on your hands. Fast. Never could find a top speed. In the same ballpark as the 350R. Costs about $56 grand.
P-51 Mustang: The premier fighter in WWII. Packard V-1650-7 liquid-cooled V-12, with a 2 stage intercooled supercharger, 1,490 hp. What’s its 0-60 time? Have no idea but with a top speed of 437 mph I can tell you that it climbs to 20,000 feet in 7 seconds. There is a serious cost for joining this club. Right now to get one in flyable condition will set you back about $2.5 million. But even if you have that laying around, and I’d love to be your friend, a pilot told me that it costs about $2,500 an hour to keep it flying. Planes are different than cars in operating expenses because the costs are so much higher. The owner(s) figure out how much it will take to fly it for one hour and save for items like an Annual Inspection or a part replacement. This plane is long out of production so many items have to be made. Many of the Mustangs at AirVenture come from all over the country. Let’s say they had to fly five hours to get to Oshkosh so times $2,500 and you get a bill of $12,500.
You will know when one is flying overhead because of it’s sound. Louder and deeper than any car you have heard. You can feel the power in your body as it roars by (volume way up to watch). I can be driving and when I hear one about to fly over, my daughter, or wife, grabs the wheel because they know I have little interest in the road at the time. Cars I’m not too bad with. Don’t tell the cops.
F-15 Eagle: A twin-engine, all weather fighter that is the backbone for the Air Force’s air superiority and undefeated in air-to-air combat. Its two engines provide 58,000 pounds of thrust, which enable the F-15 to exceed speeds of Mach 2.5. I looked for a way to convert turbine thrust into horsepower but there are so many variables so it really wouldn’t have meant much. Let’s just say gobs of it. You would need as much money…well, you most likely don’t have enough and if you did I’d love to be your friend. According to it’s manufacturer, Boeing, it stickers at around $23 million. This one just completed a demo flight and was in the shutdown process when I shot this video. Turn your speakers all the way up and being there is about 10 times louder. I love it, loud and fast.
You have to go through the EAA Museum
I’ve been through it several times. It is one of the best I’ve ever been at. On a car level like the Gilmore Museum in Michigan. I’ll have a blog entry about that soon. Here you you see significant aircraft that have been restored to the time they rolled off the assembly line or created by the pilot/builder like this 1928 Bugatti Model 100 Racer built by Ettore Bugatti. Yup that Bugatti. He would love this event as many of the attendees are homebuilders just like him. Right next to the 100 Racer is one of his other creations, a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S. See, I told you cars and planes go together.
EAA withdrawals. Please help me.
Back at work for the first day and am having EAA withdrawals. What fun and in the 5 days I was there:
* I saw some really cool planes fly. Like the Mars, the world’s largest flying water bomber and the last of its kind. I shot it doing a flyby where it did a water drop on the runway during the afternoon airshow.
* Met and chatted with pilots who had traveled from as far as New Zealand, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
* Helped mostly kids discover RC flying (we loved the cocky adult pilots who thought it would be so easy).
* Laughed with friends.
* Saw my daughter Meg win a $500 scholarship from the EAA which deepened her zest to go into aviation. BTW, she also loves cars! Boys you will have to take a tough test before a date with her. We are so proud of her.