Review on Christopher Webb Films: AIR RACER - Chasing the Dream
Review by Jan Peters
This documentary tells the story of the Nemesis Air Racing Team from the beginning to the
record-setting Championship in 2008. The main topics are:
· Some history and general information about Air Racing.
· Footage from the development of the NXT prototype, the first flight and four years
at the Reno Air Races.
· Statements of many people who were involved, team members and competitors.
That doesn't sound very exciting to you? Wrong! The story itself is exciting and presented
very well. To see how the project moves on with all the setbacks and triumphs will glue
you to the front of your screen. Here you can see segments from the development of the
NXT including model wind tunnel testing, Patricia Sharp manufacturing carbon fiber
parts, and witness the team's motivation and teamwork.
After about 15 minutes of the movie we reach the first flight and get to see the first air-to-air video of the ultimate race plane. On September 15th 2004, the NXT's first qualifying run, the gear collapses on
touch down and Jon Sharp couldn't race Nemesis NXT in its first season. Great footage
of something nobody wanted to see happen.
After 36 Minutes we get to see Race #3X in the 2005 season as it looks today.
Happiness about the first race alternates with disappointment about vibration problems.
While Jon Sharp couldn't finish the Gold Race, Kevin Eldredge races his
beautiful new blue NXT Racer # 42 "Relentless" to a 3rd place finish. The following
years are pure success. Every year a new qualifying record, a new race record, and
the Championship trophy.
This 65-minute-documentary is full of nice footage. We get to see racing scenes
from interesting perspectives like in-cockpit views. The camera work is awesome.
In addition to nice pictures we get some technical insight. Technical explanations
include the use of ADI to keep the engines together and aerodynamic modifications
to the airframe.
The filmmakers talked to the right people like competing pilots Kevin Eldredge,
John Parker and Darryl Greenamyer and engineers Andy Chiavetta and Dr. Jürg
Sommerauer. And they talked to the members of the Nemesis Team like crew
chief Steve Hill and engineers Kevin Luttge, Daren Kimura and a very young Elliot
Seguin, who meanwhile became a Formula One race pilot himself. What they have
to say is interesting. And their faces alone tell an impressive story about enthusiasm,
dedication, excitement, disappointments and happiness.
This film is a compromise. But one of the best I could think of. It's not made only for
tech heads and not only for pedestrians. Christopher Webb and his Team managed
to create a fascinating movie. It's great for people who don't know anything about
Air Racing and it's great for long time Air Race Fans too. It's a wonderful movie you
need to see.