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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Re: [Fwd: Re: Re:]


Thread: [Acro] Re: [Fwd: Re: Re:]

Message: [Acro] Re: [Fwd: Re: Re:]

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From: Franko Allan <allan.franko at>

Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 01:43:44 UTC



I appears to me that you've attributed motivations to my proposal for a new category
that had no role in my thinking.  I don't know whether I haven't been clear enough, or
whether you think my stated motivations can't be the whole story so you have imagined
others that you mostly show to be illogical.

Assuming it is the former, first I want to try to make it clear that my primary
motivation is to keep people in the sport who will leave if no changes are made, and
to bring back some of those who have left.  If all Sporting Unlimited accomplished was
to redistribute the same number of competitors among a larger number of categories, I
would view it as unjustifiable.  Of course I'm one of the people affected immediately,
but that's why I really care about the issue.

Second, I recognize that there are a few pilots who can afford the best equipment and
have the talent to use it.  Unlimited is the class for them, and I'm not trying to
steal any of their thunder.  If using Unlimited as part of the name for the new
category is a problem, please suggest something better.  The name wasn't my idea

Third, there can't be many current Pitts owners who acquired their planes when they
were "expensive wunderbirds", so my whining can't possibly be motivated by loss of
that status.  I don't accept what you appear to be saying - that part of my idea for
Sporting Unlimited is to regain some glory for these planes and in the process to
raise their monetary value.  Frankly, these possibilities did not occur to me.

Fourth, you appear to think that flying an S-1S in Sporting Unlimited would be "using
an obsolescent aircraft to have fun over its head".  Maybe I've misunderstood what you
were getting at, but that is almost exactly the opposite of my objective for the
category, which is to satisfy the desire of some of the owners of these planes (and of
other planes with similar performance) to fly them in a category that uses their full

Finally, I can't agree that the category structure is sacrosanct.  It exists primarily
to provide the greatest amount of fun to the largest number of competitors.  If a case
can be made that it isn't doing that, I see no reason why it shouldn't be changed.


Don Peterson wrote:

> Allan,
> Shame shame.  Take a deep breath.  Now, doesn't that feel better?
> In the late 50's - early 60's, the Zlin displaced the Stampe as the state of the
> art aircraft for world competition.  Getting a Zlin was very very expensive and
> politically difficult.  By the end of the 60's, the Stampes were still being used
> at top level competition, but could be had in overhauled condition for less than
> $10k.  The Zlins were being displaced by the hotrod Pitts and the Yak 50, neither
> of which could be afforded by the rank and file, who had to content themselves
> with flying older Zlins, Buckers, and Stampes.  By the mid 70's, the Lazer and
> Zlin 50 were moving 4 cyl Pitts and Yak 50's out of the world level, but again,
> they were beyond the price of mere mortals.  Do you recall that a mid - late 70's
> Zlin 50 was a $100k+ aircraft, and I can recall 4 cyl Lazers running 100k into the
> early 90's.  The 4 cyl Pitts was no longer an unlimited aircraft by the early to
> mid 80's.  Of course, the Stampe was still being used in France, the Zlins
> (226/526) were still popular for serious regional competition in eastern Europe,
> and the 4 cyl Pitts was still seen in the US.  But all of these aircraft were just
> seeing out their silver years flying locally-serious competition.  By the mid 80's
> it was Suks and Caps, etc.
> So, this process has always gone on.  It is just so gradual that it extends beyond
> the average competitor's participation in the game.  I certainly applaud using an
> obsolescent aircraft to have fun above its head, but this has never been a valid
> reason to change the basic structure of our sport.  I don't doubt there were
> similar complaints by Stampe/Zlin 226/Zlin 526/Yak 50/Zlin 50 - etc owners as
> their expensive wunderbirds became part of the previous generation.
> Get used to it.  It'll probably happen again.
> Don


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