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Nels_Anderson

Race Of The Century

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Being involved in aviation does allow us to do some fun things. Though I was just a spectator, I did do something fun aviation related this past weekend that I thought I'd share here.

The event was called the "Race Of The Century" and was hosted by the Collings Foundation http://www.collingsfoundation.org/menu.htm at their HQ only a few minutes from where I live. Must be nice...big house, huge barn containing an amazing antique car collection, a hangar bigger than any at my local airport and a grass runway next to the scenic Assabet River. The runway was big enough to host the planes and other vehicles involved in the races.

Back some hundred years ago when cars and planes were new, and we didn't have TV and the Internet to entertain us, promoters would stage events to amuse the public and among these were "races"...car versus horse, plane versus car, that sort of thing. And that's what was recreated in Mr. Collings back yard. The races were:

1) A beautiful 1860's built stage couch with two horses against a 1904 Franklin motor car (with transversely mounted engine...guess that idea is not so new).

2) A champion racing horse team and wagon against a Stanley steamer motor car.

3) Stutz Bearcat (very fancy early sports car) versus a 1909 Bleriot Type XI (similar to the first plane to cross the English channel)

4) Stearman biplane versus 1937 sprint car



I like most any kind of vehicle and actually seeing these things run was a thrill. When was the last time you saw a 1909 aircraft actually in flight? Some of the races were actually pretty good too...the Stearman versus sprint car came right down to the line.

So all I can suggest is that in addition to flightsimming be sure to get out and take in real aviation events like this. Wherever you live there's bound to be something interesting to see.



For my complete set of photos from the event, go here:

https://www.trainsim.com/gallery/rac...ury/index.html

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  1. xxmikexx's Avatar
    OMG -- no, strike that -- I'll be hornswoggled, a steam tractor! Presumably it actually runs? Presumably it's authentic?

    But why do they (the Train-Sim members) get to have thumbnails plus full size while we (FlightSim members) are restricted to 600x600? (If that's what the numbers are.)
    Updated 08-19-2008 at 04:09 PM by xxmikexx
  2. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
    Yes, that is a genuine restored steam tractor. I asked one of the Collings folks about it and apparently the type of boiler it has cannot legally be steamed up in Massachusetts, however they did have it running on compressed air.

    Not sure I understand the comments about the pictures. The photos are hosted on the train-sim.com server, but are not actually part of that web site. Given that I take lots of photos and have to post them somewhere on all the servers I have available to me, that just happens to be where those are hosted.
  3. xxmikexx's Avatar
    Re pictures, it's the new album capability here at FlightSim.com. Uploads are hosted by the site but to my knowledge you can't have two sizes of image, small versus full-screen. You can only have small, to a maximum size of 600x600 pixels. Maybe this is a nit.

    Re the tractor, presumably it had to race itself ... which reminds me ...

    Another joke out of Russia from my high school years was, "Yesterday an international automobile race was held. The Russian car came in second while the American car came in next to last", the joke being that it was a two-car race, and that the American car had won.