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Move Over NASCAR! Here come the X-Racers!

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posted on Jan, 30 2006 @ 08:48 PM
This is a sport, but I think it qualifies as an aircraft project nonetheless. It certainly seems to push the envelope of aviation, rocket science and spectator sports and these guys seem serious. I don't know if it will catch on with the population-at-large, but it could cause quite a stir among hardcore racing fans.

A group devoted to racing high-speed rockets at 5,000 feet is gaining velocity, having announced its first independent team on Monday.

Rocket planes called X-Racers will compete on a sky "track" in the design of a Grand Prix race, with long straightaways and the added dimension of vertical ascents and deep banks. The race will run perpendicular to spectators and be about two miles long, one mile wide and 5,000 feet in the air. The X-Racers will be staggered upon takeoff and fly their own "tunnel" of space, each separated by a few hundred feet.

The prototype of the X-Racer is being built in partnership with XCOR Aerospace of Mojave, Calif. It's modeled after XCOR's EZ-Rocket, but the next version will draw from the airframe of Velocity, based in Sebastian, Fla. Retired Air Force Col. Rick Searfoss, a former commander of the space shuttle Columbia, will fly the RRL's rocket.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Related story:

The aerospace junkies behind the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million flight contest, on Monday introduced the Rocket Racing League (RRL), an organization to host and run rocket competitions throughout the United States.

Peter Diamandis, co-founder of the RRL, called it the next-generation racing industry: "The Rocket Racing League will inspire people of all ages to once again look up into the sky to find inspiration and excitement."

A debut exhibition race is planned for the X Prize Cup in September 2006. In the six months after that, the league expects to see races at an additional two air shows and two auto race events, with a championship event in New Mexico at the 2007 edition of the X Prize Cup.

[edit on 2006/1/30 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Jan, 30 2006 @ 09:01 PM
The current issue of Popular Science has a good article with many pictures on the X-Races.

posted on Jan, 30 2006 @ 09:15 PM
I checked out the PopSci site and didn't see anything on X-Racers, but I did find this:


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