Wednesday, October 6, 2010

“Blue Thunder II Crew Report” - Sep 2010

“Blue Thunder II Crew Report”
September, 2010

The highlight of the Blue Thunder II show season for 2010 was the Reno Air Races this month and the AAR open house commonly referred to as Thunderstorm.

We are all aware of the tragic loss of race number 75, Rapid Travel on Sunday during the Supper Sport Gold race. The subject is still too sensitive to me to discuss further at this time. The good news is George is just a little sore this week.

At the start of the races, the competition that could be faster than Blue Thunder II was Kevin Eldredge flying Relentless # 42, Mike Dacey in Bad Intentions # 71, George Giboney in Rapid Travel # 75 and Lynn Farnsworth in Miss Karen II # 44. I was fairly confident that Blue Thunder II could beat #44 and Blue II was definitely faster than Lee Behel in # 15 and Tom McReynolds in # 69.

Trouble started early for the Super Sport racers. On the first day of practice #69 had a governor failure that over sped the engine causing significant damage, and Blue II burned a piston and broke a rod that put some significant holes in the block.

On the first day of qualifying, Kevin Eldredge had a spectacular engine and propeller failure that put him out of the races and #15 was withdrawn due to engine problems.
If ever a racing crew deserved a Metal of Honor, the Blue Crew does. They removed the damaged engine from Blue II and installed the Oshkosh engine in about 23 hours. A major accomplishment in itself and made it possible for us to qualify on Tuesday at, of all numbers, 352 MPH.

The Oshkosh engine slugged it out for four days of racing, never missing a beat and, due to some attrition took home second place in the Super Gold race on Sunday.

The September report would not be complete without a recap of Thunderstorm 2010.

First of all, our dear friends Simon Gault and Chris Bromly of Tigers Blood crew from New Zealand were on hand and we thought we would pose for a Steinlager commercial during one of the daily debriefing sessions.

On Saturday the TBG had a meeting in my office and the big news from the meeting was that an agreement had been reached with Dean Holt Construction to buy the assets of the TBG and start production of Thunder Mustang kits.

Bill Pearce did his usual fine job stoking the fires on the BBQ; John McCartney was the gate keeper. The menu included smoked pork, Alaskan salmon, Diestel Farms turkey, New Zealand lamb and plenty of beer and wine.

I would like to introduce a new feature of this monthly report is to showcase one of our sponsors. This month I would like to introduce Jim Riley, owner and president of R & E Fasteners here in Reno, NV. Jim is one of our airport neighbors and runs very efficient and friendly business supplying quality commercial fasteners for the construction industry as well as a long line of cutting tools and industrial chemicals. Visit Jim’s store at and I am sure you will find something you need there, like those 4-40 cap screws we need, and if you can’t find anything you need now, send him an Email thanking him for his support.

In October and November, I have several flight test program contracts to complete but the Blue Thunder II program will be establishing an air show schedule and engine program for 2011. Our job will be showing our sponsors the success we have had getting their names before their customers, and signing them for the 2011 season. Jan and I thank the TBG Lt. and our fans for their continued support and we will continue to support you.

Thanks again
Jan, John and the entire Blue Crew.


No comments: