Wednesday, June 16, 2010

PR: Blue Thunder II Claims New International Speed Record

Blue Thunder II Claims New International Speed Record
Crowds at Golden West Airshow Witness History

June 13, 2010, Marysville, California: Pilot/owner/builder John Parker, former Formula One air race champion and holder of several speed records at shorter distances in his earlier Thunder Mustang, Blue Thunder, took his successor machine, Blue Thunder II, to record speeds over the long course set up in California, launching and finishing in front of the crowds at the Golden West Fly-in on both Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13.

On each day, Parker went fast enough to break the old record of some 330mph; he went 361mph on Saturday, and a blazing 363.9 on Sunday.

Blue Thunder II is powered by a Falconer V-12 engine of 600 cubic inches and 640 horsepower. The Thunder Mustang is a faithful rendering of a P-51 Mustang, in ¾ scale, built in composite materials. The fuel was 115 octane ERC racing gasoline. Nitrous oxide was also used during a portion of each run.

The record runs were made in accordance with international rules and were officially observed by Brian Utley, a representative of the National Aeronautics Association, the US arm of the international organization of record, the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale). Parker’s class, C1c, is for piston-powered landplanes between 2200 and 3850 pounds.

Parker battled high winds that prevailed throughout the show. The 20-knot wind that faced the Saturday run was particularly rough.

Though the record is for a distance of 100 kilometers, the course was laid out at a total distance of 142km, out and back around an observer’s waypoint. The average speed over the course counts for the record.

Parker and “Blue II” will be attending the AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at the end of July; the man and machine will also be competing in the SuperSport class in the Reno Air Races in September.

To learn about Blue Thunder II:

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