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Rocket races coming next yearRocket races coming next year

There will be a demonstration rocket race at the National Championship Air Races in Reno this year, to be followed next year by competitive rocket races.

The Rocket Racing League staged a demonstration flight at Oshkosh featuring a racer based on the Velocity Aircraft canard airframe and flown by former astronaut Rick Searfoss. It uses an XCOR Aerospace liquid oxygen rocket engine capable of 1,500 to 2,000 pounds of thrust.

Searfoss flew an oval pattern marked on his cockpit display by a series of boxes and used the rocket intermittently. During a 10-minute race, the rocket engine may be used only three to five minutes.

Reno former sport category champion Dave Morss plans to race a rocket for the Santa Fe Rocket Racing team owned by Marc R. Cumbow.

Alton Marsh

Alton K. Marsh

Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.

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