PASSING THE PYLON

SMOKEYDOGSOCKS

VACAVILLE, CALIFORNIA, United States

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Artist's Description

IN 1983, WHILE ON A MOTORCYCLE TRIP FROM VACAVILLE CALIFORNIA, TO YELLOW STONE NATIONAL PARK IN WYOMING, I HAPPENED ACROSS THE RENO AIR RACES TIME TRIALS. THIS MUSTANG WAS JUST “PASSING THE PYLON” WHEN I SNAPPED THE PHOTO. THE PHOTO WAS TAKEN WITH A CANON AE-1, A CANON 100-200 F:5.6 TELEPHOTO LENS AND KODAK 100 ASA COLOR FILM. I SCANNED THE 3X5 INTO THE COMPUTER AND COLOR CORRECTED IT. I HAVEN’T BEEN BACK TO RENO SINCE, FOR EITHER THE AIR RACES, OR THE HOT AIR BALLOON RACES, NOT TO MENTION PAYING MY DUES TO THE CASINOS. WORLD WAR II AIRCRAFT OF SEVERAL DIFFERENT TYPES WERE MODIFIED BY CIVILIAN PILOTS AND MECHANICS TO FLY FASTER THAN THEY EVER DID DURING THE WAR. THE MUSTANG COULD, IN A STEEP DIVE, ALMOST REACH THE SOUND BARRIER, BUT LIKE THE P-38 LIGHTNING IN A STEEP HIGH SPEED DIVE, THEY BECAME VERY UNSTABLE AND HARD TO HANDLE, BECAUSE THE SHOCK WAVE WOULD LOCK THE ELEVATOR CONTROLS AND THIS CAUSED SEVERAL PILOTS TO LOOSE THEIR LIVES WHEN THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO TO RECOVER THE STABILITY OF THE AIR CRAFT. IT WASN’T UNTIL MUCH LATER, WITH LOTS MORE TESTING OF AIR CRAFT AND SPEEDS THAT THEY FOUND OUT IN ORDER TO BREAK THE SOUND BARRIER AND MAINTAIN STABILITY, THE ELEVATOR HAD TO BECOME A FLYING STABLIZER, OR TO MAKE IT SIMPLE, THE ENTIRE SURFACE WAS ADJUSTABLE, NOT JUST THE TRAILING EDGE LIKE ON THE MUSTANGS. THIS WASN’T DISCOVERED UNTIL CHUCK YEAGER FLEW THE X-1 YEARS LATER AND ALMOST LOST HIS LIFE IN THE PROCESS.

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air races

Artwork Comments

  • melynda blosser
  • SMOKEYDOGSOCKS
  • melynda blosser
  • Astral4
  • SMOKEYDOGSOCKS
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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