Get ready for a duel between air and sea at this month's Fort Lauderdale Air Show
By AMBER RANDALL | South Florida Sun Sentinel | Published: November 12, 2020
Can a World War II-era plane outrace a modern-day speed boat?
It’s a thrilling battle between air and sea that viewers will witness as part of the Fort Lauderdale Air Show later this month.
An open-cockpit SNJ plane once used to train pilots during World War II will be racing at high speed just 500 feet above a 47-foot international power boat racing legend.
“The Fort Lauderdale Air Show gives the public a rare chance to witness this air-sea duel," said
The high-speed maneuver is just as complicated — and dangerous — as it sounds.
The six-plane team of GEICO Skytypers will finish one of the most popular and visible demonstrations of the air show that includes using vapor trails to “type” giant messages in the sky that can be seen for up to 15 miles.
Then one of the pilots will dive his SNJ plane to a level just above the deck of a Miss GEICO speedboat — a maneuver that requires precision and skill from the men controlling both vessels. They must reach the same speed as quickly as possible to get the timing right for the start of the race.
The plane and boat race each other at a speed of up to 150 mph, then turn and race back in the other direction to make sure that the wind and ocean currents don’t end up deciding the winner.
“It’s a spectacle,” said
So which is the most likely victor? It depends on conditions.
The speedboat can reach a speed of up to 160 mph, so on a very calm day it usually outpaces the plane. But the plane, even at 80 years old, still has a lot of kick to it. Powered by a 550-horsepower engine, it can hit 150 mph — fast enough to win if the boat is facing rough seas.
“The liquid track has constantly changing conditions such as wave size and wind strength which greatly affect our speed and handling capability," said Miss GEICO Crew Chief
The Fort Lauderdale Air Show will be held on
Event organizers are also taking numerous precautions to protect against the coronavirus, including increased size of the