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Author Topic: State of the Rat  (Read 961 times)

Online Peter in Fairfax, VA

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State of the Rat
« on: April 02, 2020, 06:04:13 AM »
Back in the day, Rat was either a .40 or a .15, Goodyear.  What is it like now?

How fast is a typical rat?  What lines they use?  What are the classes?  Is there a "rat primer" to get the basic info?  Not that my local club will every fly rat, but still curious.

Offline bob whitney

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Re: State of the Rat
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2020, 09:21:27 AM »
rat race today is for 2,5 engines (15) flown on 60 ft lines .speed is about 110MPH .two simple ways to get into racing is quicki rat and Dallas Goodyear  both use stock engines.both profiles . Q Rat uses a cross flow 40 such as a K&B 40 . Dallas  Goodyear is specific about what motor u can use .Bill can jump in here .it is flown on 52 ft lines'

rat was dying a slow death with speeds up to 150-160 MPH and only a few able to fly them , then rat was dropped to 21's but it never caught on for lack of good engines ,it was than dropped to 2.5 motors .again only a few die hards flew it ,mostly at the nats..I think the last time it was flown at the nats we had 3 entry's and one of those was an F2C team racer with a diesel . at the moment I don't know of rat being flown any where in the US
rad racer

Offline Paul Smith

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Re: State of the Rat
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2020, 10:19:36 AM »
I really liked Rat back in the day, 1961 through 1965.   We flew 6-up right from the beginning with 100 MPH being the impossible dream.  You really could throw together a RAT from parts around the house.  But as speeds went up we went from  6 to 5 to 4 to 3 to 2-up.

My final rat, which still flys as a Formula 40 Speed (one-up) has a Series 70 K&B 40. 

We were very happy with the ST G21/40 as rat engine.  You could go maybe 105 to 115 and get good pit stops, plus it only cost about $30.  The Harters pan was $3.95 and the Rodent or Raider kit (with pan) was $7.95.   The K&B Series 70 would fit into the Harters pan OK.  But then the roof caved-in for me and many others.  It seemed like every six months a new "world beater" engine would come out and make everything obsolete. Worse yet, they wouldn't fit into the available pan, so getting a pan became a challenge.

We had 24 entries in a local contest in Detroit in 1963.  Very soon there were only about a dozen people in Rat anywhere.   The last time I looked, the winners were doing ten miles, including pit stops at averages speed above 120 MPH.

At this point in time there must be at least eight and maybe ten racing events that use the .15 (2.5 cc).  That's far too many, but we never seem to drop an event.

The F2C results I read show that the winners are now able to complete 10 K races at average speeds above 120 MPH, using diesel 15's and with a lot of restrictions heaped upon them. 

I would suggest that Rat be dropped, but it doesn't matter to me either way.
Paul Smith

Offline Al Ferraro

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Re: State of the Rat
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2020, 08:51:31 PM »
My Fast Rat with a Nelson .15 on a mini pipe will do over 120 mph on 60 ft lines using a stock APC prop.
Al

Offline Dave Hull

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Re: State of the Rat
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2020, 02:10:42 AM »
And a good pan rat is fun to fly. I particularly liked Les Akre's blue inverted pan rat with its Nelson .15. These are a challenge because you don't go out and practice with them much. And, since guys want to go fast, they will run them on pressure. So the restart drill has to be right. And, if you run hard, you may end up blowing plugs because you don't have the head clearance set right for the conditions. So this is a challenging event for the mechanic--but a lot of fun for the pilot. That would change if they ended up going faster than they are now, or if the plane was heavy. Like slow rat. Now you need a pilot that is way stronger, else the techniques used in the middle of the circle--just to survive--are pretty ummm, non-standard.

The other crucial thing I observed in this event is that the fuel system and shutoff need to be very well executed. Any mickeymouse at all and you are going to come to grief. Good enough probably isn't. It is tight inside the pan and cowling and pinched fuel lines, or fuel line that works for the shutoff but kinks at the needle when the cowl temperatures go up, because a failed shutoff in this event is more than an inconvenience. It may cause a toasted motor or a thrown or stretched prop.

One of the guys that I raced with got frustrated with the finicky nature of the whole deal and build a profile .15 rat. He gave up a bit of speed, but eliminated nearly all of the grief he was having. Ya gotta finish to win....

The Divot

Offline Les Akre

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Re: State of the Rat
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2020, 03:28:29 AM »
Hi Dave

I eventually went back to the Nelson .15 powered MacCarthy built Mini Shark but ditched the pressure and went with a suction uniflow tank. Still ran low 14's, but the shutoff kept tripping due to a wonky trip wire. By the time I got around to getting it sorted, AMA Rat had been dropped from the Nat's schedule. Probably just as well anyway, as finding a Pilot for it was becoming more difficult.

I'm still threatening to build an old style .40 Rat, about the size of an Hooptee, and use a Quickie Rat legal K&B .40 just to relive the past. Just as soon as I find that jar of elbow grease...

Les

Online C.T. Schaefer

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Re: State of the Rat
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2020, 05:47:14 AM »
Interesting. I recently revived my F-40 plane that was built and flown with the 6.5. With a little fussing it now will accept the 5 motors I have. I figured I better do it now while I can still fly it ;D. I put on regular leadouts and made a set of .021 cables for convenience. It has a hard tank so operation is fairly easy.
 The motors include a Torpedo series 71, H-P, K&B S, OS RSR and the original 6.5 which I am trying to rejuvenate some. I have great memories of using these motors for Carrier, Speed and, even, R/C. Back then you had to use at least 50%! First up was the Torpedo. We flew it on the day before the town closed our field. It took a couple of flights to sort it but eventually it turned a solid flight of 120. Prop, APC 8x8. Fuel PM 10%.Lots of fun. Can't wait to try out the HP next!   TS

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: State of the Rat
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2020, 10:28:57 AM »
Yep, back when I had my Skat Rat with Super Tigre .40 that was a consistent 115+ mph and one or two flip starts plus no shut off Rat Racing was fun going three up.  Last race it flew in a stunt pilot from St Louis flew for me as my regular pilot got his plane in the finals also.  He was home on leave at that time.  They let us take a solo run to see if my new pilot would do it.  Any way the race started and Mike and I were on the same lap after the last pit stop.   For some reason my timers moved over to where Mike's timers were.  Needless to say he won by just a couple of seconds.  No I did not protest as he was my usual pilot and I thanked the new pilot for flying for me.  To this day I can't recall his name as he only flew stunt at most contests.  Texas Quickie Rat is close replacement.  Need to get one going again. D>K
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530  Have fun as I have and I am still breaking a record.

Offline Tom Walker

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Re: State of the Rat
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2020, 05:23:17 PM »
As a young Tulsa Glue Dobber in 1963 I built my first rat racer with the then new Fox Gold colored engine (weak crankshaft variant).  It was a popular event everywhere.  My preference was the gold .40 on pressure, harters pan, cylindrical quick fill 4oz tank. and a 125 square inch elliptical wing.  They were tough and needed to be for the event.  Seem to remember 3-4 up and 95-110 mph on Missile Mist and nylon 8-8 prop.  The Super Tigres, and OS were popular also.  The K&B .40 had not arrived for 2 more years. 

Offline Tom Walker

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Re: State of the Rat
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2020, 09:21:03 PM »
That's a nice red, what is that Practa Aerogloss?

This Iphone camera makes it look red.  Real color is orange.  It was named after the the original design of my mentor, WWII veteran Hays Hoff.  His was green. He named it spinach.  I named mine carrots.  Pactra dope was used with a clear topcoat. 


















h

Motorman

Offline Mark wood

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Re: State of the Rat
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2020, 09:38:28 PM »
I was in the Local Hobby Shop the other day and there was a lot of old C/L stuff. A lot of old kits from a collection and there were a couple of Rat racers in there. I think one had an HB 40 in it. Killer engine in its day. Me and best friend race for a bunch of years and had a blast. He past a few months ago. That was hard.

Life is good AMA 1488
Why do we fly? We are practicing, you might say, what it means to be alive...  -Richard Bach
“Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.” – Richard P. Feynman

Offline Paul Smith

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Re: State of the Rat
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2020, 07:19:19 AM »
When I started the only racing event was AMA B Team Race.  I never saw anybody, including the local experts, get one to go well enough to compete.  RAT was the savior of racing and we had 24 contestants instantly.  AMA dropped the B Team Race event in 1964 due to lack of interest.

Ironically, now we have at least a dozen racing events and they're all just as advanced as B Team Race, and faster, too.  I can't think of any racing event, other than B Team Race, that's been dropped.  And B Team Race has returned, too.
Paul Smith


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