Vol. 4 May 2006
Velocity's Quarterly Newsletter

Mechanic's Corner

Velocity to Provide Airframes
to Rocket Racing League, Unveils X-Racer Training Craft

(Press release provided by RRL)

LAKELAND, FL – April 10, 2006  

During the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-in Monday in Lakeland, Florida, the Rocket Racing League™ (RRL) in partnership with Sebastian’s Velocity Inc. unveiled its company-owned Mark-1 X-Racer™ trainer, sporting the company’s red and white race colors.  The aircraft is a full scale operational Velocity SE FG and will serve as a training vehicle for rocket racing pilots. 

The RRL training aircraft is currently powered by a Lycoming IO-360 piston engine, but is slated for the eventual conversion to rocket power.  The vehicle will allow rocket racing pilots to familiarize themselves with its handling behavior.  Rocket Racing League pilots Sean D. Tucker and Erik Lindbergh, Vice President of Technology Michael D’Angelo and XCOR Aerospace Chief Engineer Dan DeLong addressed a group of Velocity pilots and press at the unveiling.

In partnership with the Rocket Racing League, Velocity, Inc. will be the sole provider of airframes for the newest brainchild of aerospace luminary Dr. Peter Diamandis, founder of the Ansari X-Prize and Granger Whitelaw, two-time Indianapolis 500 champion team partner. 

According to Granger Whitelaw, President and CEO of the Rocket Racing League, “With Velocity as our manufacturing partner, the sky is no longer the limit!  Rocket racing will give you the ride of your life and entertainment like none you’ve experienced before!”

The Mark-1 X-Racer is based on a highly modified Velocity SE FG airframe, combined with a 1,500 pound thrust rocket engine from XCOR Aerospace and a custom integrated avionics and simulations package that allows for X-Racer competition through virtual three dimensional race tracks in the sky.

“The Velocity family is excited to have been selected by the Rocket Racing League as the first airframe provider for the X-Racer and we look forward to seeing our SE morph into  the Mark-1, taking to the skies in roaring vertical flight trailing twenty foot rocket plumes,” said Scott Swing, president of Velocity Inc.

The Rocket Racing League is currently in negotiations with City Council members to expand their facilities in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Las Cruces’ city manager, Terrence Moore – who is coincidentally the former city manager of Sebastian – expects no difficulties in the development of these new facilities.

RRL™ race events are slated to begin during the 2007-2008 racing season after the inaugural public exhibition flight at the X PRIZE Cup in New Mexico in October 2006.
The RRL™ expects to have 10 or more race teams for the 2007-2008 racing season.   RFP’s are currently being accepted for both racing teams and venues.  RRL semi-finals will be held at the Reno Air Races in 2007 with the finals at the X PRIZE Cup in Las Cruces, New Mexico where the Rocket Racing League ™ has moved its world headquarters.  

About the Rocket Racing League

The Rocket Racing League is a sports and entertainment organization which combines the competition of racing with the excitement of rocketry.  The RRL is dedicated to providing safe and thrilling experiences for families through live events, television broadcasts and interactive technologies.  Co-founded by Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, founder of the X PRIZE, and Mr. Granger Whitelaw, two-time Indianapolis 500 champion team partner, the league’s mission is to serve as a technology accelerator in the areas of airframe, propulsion and spacecraft design, and reach for the future to inspire the next generation of spaceflight enthusiasts.