FAQs

What is The Rocket Racing League?
Who founded the League?
How are the races structured?
What is the Raceway-In-The-Sky? How will pilots, spectators and viewers see the track?
What is a Rocket Racer®? Is it powered like a jet?
How fast do the Rocket Racers go and what kind of fuel do they use?
How long are these races?
Who are the Rocket Racing League pilots and how were they selected?
How many teams are there and who are they?
Where are races held?
Are the planes safe?
How are the fans protected during the Race?

What is The Rocket Racing League?

The Rocket Racing League® (RRL®) is a new and unique sports and game franchise based on competitions of piloted rocket-powered aircraft. Rocket Racing combines the exhilaration of racing with the power of rocket engines.

Who founded the League?

The Rocket Racing League was founded in 2005 by X Prize founder and aerospace visionary, Dr. Peter Diamandis and IRL team partner and serial entrepreneur, Granger Whitelaw.

How are the races structured?

To be held at venues across the country, the Rocket Racing League will feature multiple races of different styles, ranging frm closed circuit to drag-style, pitting 2 to 10 Rocket Racers roaring head-to-head for victory. The closed circuit format is planned to be a 4-lap, multiple elimination heat, on a 5-mile “Formula One” Raceway-In-The-Sky™. The drag style race format, in its most streamlined embodiment, features two Rocket Racers racing in parallel in a low transition takeoff down the runway before pulling to a high G vertical through the Raceway-In-The-Sky.

What is the Raceway-In-The-Sky?

The Rocket Racer pilots see the Raceway-In-The-Sky™ with a custom cockpit based augmented reality system projected onto a 3D helmet display. For the thousands of fans in attendance, they will witness the racing action live and in real-time on large projection screens fed by the Ground Based Augmented Reality System. For the millions of fans watching on televisions and PCs at home, they will experience the thrill of the Rocket Racing League via unique remote and rocket-mounted cameras that give at-home fans the sensation of riding right alongside famed Rocket Racing League pilots. On the gaming front, RRL plans to immerse fans in a new level of interaction and participation, creating an entire virtual racing league. RRL’s game approach is multi-platform, reaching casual/social players as well as “hardcore” multiplayer online gamers.

What is a Rocket Racer®? Is it powered like a jet?

The Rocket Racer®, or X-Racer®, is the name of the rocket-powered aircraft being developed to compete in the Rocket Racing League. With test flights that began in the fall of 2007, the Rocket Racer? will utilize a Velocity (www.velocityaircraft.com) airframe and a single 1,500-2,500 pound thrust liquid oxygen and ethanol rocket engine, developed by Armadillo Aerospace (www.armadilloaerospace.com) that emits a 10-15 foot-long flame and roar heard and felt for miles around. Unlike a jet engine that burns atmospheric oxygen as its oxidizer, the X-Racer carries its own oxidizer in the form of liquid oxygen (“LOX”).

How fast do the Rocket Racers go?

The speed of the Rocket Racer is limited by the airframe, not the engine. The current Mark-II and Mark-III designs are limited to 300 miles per hour. The engines burn liquid oxygen (LOX) and ethanol, producing a maximum of 2,500 pounds of thrust emitting a brightly, colored, 10-15 foot long flame and roar heard and felt for miles around.

How long are these races?

Races will vary, but are expected to last 10 to 90 minutes depending on the format, and in some cases may include a pit stop where the Rocket Racers are refueled and rapidly reconfigured for ongoing flight.

Who are the Rocket Racing League pilots?

Rocket Racing League pilots are among the most highly trained and skilled pilots on the planet and include aerobatic pilot Sean Tucker, Len Fox, Dave Morss and Jim Bridenstine. They typically possess backgrounds in aerobatics and/or military fighter jet domains.

How many teams are there and who are they?

Official team recruitment will commence when the Rocket Racers mature and officially enter production. Early candidate teams of the RRL franchise include Bridenstine Rocket Racing, Santa Fe Racing, Rocket Star Racing, Team Extreme Rocket Racing, and Canada-based Beyond Gravity Rocket Racing.

Where are races held?

Whether for RRL’s World Rocket Tour or for its competitive racing League, the events will be held at selected venues across the country and select foreign locations.

Are the planes safe?

Safety is a priority. A team of dedicated RRL engineers and scientists with years of experience comprise the RRL safety board which is charged with ensuring safety for all those involved.

How are the fans protected during the race?

Rocket Racing League spectators will be kept at a safe distance from the rocket-powered aircraft, while at the same time viewing and sensing the excitement and thrill of the flights. The Rocket Racing League works carefully with and follows all air show regulations set-forth by the FAA, airport authorities, the RRL safety board and other governing bodies.