Without question, the most fun at Petty Jean this past weekend, in my humble opinion, was the balloon busting competition!
Having spent pretty much 100% of the 530 hours I have on my 8 doing everything I can to avoid hitting anything, suddenly that is exactly what the goal is and it was a blast!
Having busted 2 of the 3 balloons that were sent aloft for my killer pursuit like so many pheasants on a game farm, I?m quite certain that the one I missed was as solid a hit as the others.
So I posited that it may be possible for the target to pass through the propeller arc unscathed; and that I was actually perfect as far as the required skill goes. Oh Lord it?s hard to be humble!
While I was waiting on the end of the runway for my heat to begin, I had a great perspective of the target zone, and cranked the exposure rate on my $150 E-Bay special Lumix camera up to a dozen frames per second and burned a lot of images.
Here we have a sequence of our own Professor Horton as he launches his assault on an unwitting target balloon; and given the three images, It certainly appears this one went right through!
So here?s the math. Flying at the targeted airspeed of 120 miles per hour, the forward speed equates to traveling at a rate of 2.112 inches for each 1/1000 of a second, or about 4.2 thousandths of a second for a 9? balloon to pass through the propeller disk.
In that same amount of time, a propeller turning at 2700 RPM will turn 69 degrees. (yes, please someone, check my math)
A 2 bladed prop, would cover 138 degrees, or only about 38% of the prop disc space, leaving the remaining 62% wide open.
I know this is imperfect as the balloon, being round, occupies different amounts of space at different times during the .0042 seconds it takes to pass through the disc, plus the prop has thickness, and the balloon might have been 11? in diameter, yada, yada, yada. But you get the picture.
So I?m concluding that even if you skillfully maneuver your vehicle of destruction with the precision of a brain surgeon (who may or may not still have his brain surgery kit), that this is in the end, partially a game of chance.
None the less, the game is a BLAST! And kudos to the Petit Jean Indians for making it happen!
All ya?all should try your hand at it. You won?t be disappointed!