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BuckyD
12-02-2008, 11:08 PM
'Monday-after-the-races' at Reno/Stead Field - 9/17/84:

A classic example of a severely- 'holed' RR Merlin piston, is illustrated here in a macro view of this gremlin-kissed unit - extracted from P-51D Mustang Racer #7 STREGA's motor, which forced race pilot Ron Hevle to execute a premature Lap-7 exit out of Sunday's Reno '84 Unlimited Gold Championship final.

Word from the late & great Doctor Dwight noted that Strega pilot/owner- Tiger Bill retained this one as a keepsake mantel memento for himself (-definately a v-spendy piece of metal arts there, 4-sure!) :cool: DBD

AAFO_WSagar
12-02-2008, 11:57 PM
'Monday-after-the-races' at Reno/Stead Field - 9/17/84:

A classic example of a severely- 'holed' RR Merlin piston, is illustrated here in a macro view of this gremlin-kissed unit - extracted from P-51D Mustang Racer #7 STREGA's motor, which forced race pilot Ron Hevle to execute a premature Lap-7 exit out of Sunday's Reno '84 Unlimited Gold Championship final.

Word from the late & great Doctor Dwight noted that Strega pilot/owner- Tiger Bill retained this one as a keepsake mantel memento for himself (-definately a v-spendy piece of metal arts there, 4-sure!) :cool: DBDHey Bucky, thanks for sharing the history! What's really amazing to me is the size of the Merlin piston!

It would be wonderous to be able to see one of these engines under power, up close/inside with one of the new cameras that seem able to capture impossible images!

Detonation is a very ugly thing, indeed!

Wayne Sagar

First time Juke
12-03-2008, 05:11 AM
Cool pic.

Funny you should mention golf ( term anyway ). I was thinking I should become a pro golfer and win some majors to earn money to build an AC.

This is my back-up plan since I did not win the 6.5 million that was at stake here in Finland last weekend.

-----------

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/618386

Is the data above accurate...anyone ?

BuckyD
12-16-2008, 12:17 PM
'Monday-after-the-races' at Reno/Stead Field - Mon. 9/20/82:

A- 'Hole in (another) one'...

John Crocker's gold Hovey-prepared racing Merlin rests in its' cradle, in P-51D - #6 SUMTHIN' ELSE's pit after removal, following crankshaft failure on Lap-4 during Sunday's Unlimited Gold Championship final. Crocker made it safely back down onto the runway during his mayday, but Race #6's prop was damaged while landing.

An unchallenged rookie Mustang- Racer #4 - DAGO RED won the race at 405.092-av/mph, w/Ron Hevle piloting.

:cool: DBD

BellCobraIV
12-16-2008, 12:35 PM
DBD, I think it was you that had a picture of the 1992 Piston from the end of Rare Bears streak? possibly not, maybe it was Neal. It was not taken at the races as it took some work to get out at home. That piston was given to Tiger by Lyle at Christmas in 1999. Tiger and Lyle have quite the set of "ashtrays".

Big_Jim
12-16-2008, 01:01 PM
\'Monday-after-the-races\' at Reno/Stead Field - Mon. 9/20/82:

A- \'Hole in (another) one\'...

John Crocker\'s gold Hovey-prepared racing Merlin rests in its\' cradle, in P-51D - #6 SUMTHIN\' ELSE\'s pit after removal, following crankshaft failure on Lap-4 during Sunday\'s Unlimited Gold Championship final. Crocker made it safely back down onto the runway during his mayday, but Race #6\'s prop was damaged while landing.

An unchallenged rookie Mustang- Racer #4 - DAGO RED won the race at 405.092-av/mph, w/Ron Hevle piloting.

:cool: DBD

As I recall, there was a blue propeller with some paint missing from the tips after that landing too. I recall John landing on 14 and rolling out downwind a little \'hot\'. Brake check! 4.0

BuckyD
12-16-2008, 05:24 PM
DBD, I think it was you that had a picture of the 1992 Piston from the end of Rare Bears streak? possibly not, maybe it was Neal. It was not taken at the races as it took some work to get out at home. That piston was given to Tiger by Lyle at Christmas in 1999. Tiger and Lyle have quite the set of "ashtrays".

Hi John-

Must've been Neal. Perhaps you're thinking of this shot, that I did manage to take during Team 77's late Tue. nite (9/15/92) thrash inside the CIA Hanger (prev. posted in my- 'Things That Go-'BUMP!' In The Night' thread)??? :confused:

Anyway - it's the only pic I took of a Bear piston extraction that year, & w/o any closeup detail shots of the piston itself (With all that was goin' on, I was tryin' to stay out of the way as much as possible, understandably!) ;) :cool: DBD

wingman
12-16-2008, 10:27 PM
This may be the shot John is thinking if -- taken at the races though. I think this is the one burned up on the practice run on Tuesday or so...

http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s95/Wingmanphoto/R92-Piston.jpg

BuckyD
12-17-2008, 07:53 AM
Thanks, Neal for posting this rough & raw piston pic. (Believe your shot is a closeup detail of same piston shown on the work bench in my nite hangar shot.? Cool to see it in the daylight, closeup).

The piston John's referring to, must've been another one - damaged later during the subsequent Reno '92 Gold heats or final, and extracted after the races, as he mentioned. (John?)

:cool: DBD

BellCobraIV
12-17-2008, 10:48 AM
Thanks, Neal for posting this rough & raw piston pic. (Believe your shot is a closeup detail of same piston shown on the work bench in my nite hangar shot.? Cool to see it in the daylight, closeup).

The piston John's referring to, must've been another one - damaged later during the subsequent Reno '92 Gold heats or final, and extracted after the races, as he mentioned. (John?)

:cool: DBD

DBD, Neal<
Great job guys! Yes, that is the piston from the early in the week, first cylinder change. We had a great running engine that year and we brought the plane up through Mojave. The test flight on Tuesday was supposed to be flown at lower power settings to burn off the 100 low lead that was used for the flight up to Reno. However that part of the briefing did not make it to the cockpit. We ended up changing three cylinders that year, one on Tuesday, and two on Friday. Guess we should have done one more after all.

Big_Jim
12-17-2008, 11:36 AM
However that part of the briefing did not make it to the cockpit.

At the risk of treading on what seems at times to be sacred cow, in spite of some great success stories over the last two decades, this seems to be a weak link in an otherwise powerhouse organization.

TWD
12-19-2008, 06:30 PM
At the risk of treading on what seems at times to be sacred cow, in spite of some great success stories over the last two decades, this seems to be a weak link in an otherwise powerhouse organization.

I missed something, what did you mean by that?

TJ

BuckyD
12-21-2008, 10:21 PM
Here's a series of shots documenting some serious RARE BEAR 'heart surgery' aftermath, at Reno '99 NCAR, beginning w/the Tue. 9/14/99 early p.m. shot at left of Bill Hickle & Race #77 crew inspecting their sick R-3350 for gremlin mayhem.

From the next day on, & throughout race week, the team had this table full of removed powerplant items displayed in their pit to appease some of the race fan curiosity regarding Rare Bear's racing status. :eek13:

:cool: DBD

wingman
12-21-2008, 10:28 PM
I remember that -- a classy way to deal with fan questions. It was always odd to be in the pit and see fans from a crew perspective -- the good and the bad...

BuckyD
12-21-2008, 11:07 PM
A- 'HOLE in one'...SIZE L-A-R-G-E!!! :eek: :eek13: :mad:

Mon. 9/11/06 - Reno NCAR:

Stu Eberhardt's P-51D Race #22 MERLIN'S MAGIC (N151SE) suffered a major rod failure in it's Sparrow racing motor while out on the racecourse, just after turning Outer 6 Pylon, during the practice & qualifying session.

Stu executed a textbook mayday exit & emergency landing, to get his wounded bird back down onto Stead Field's RW-08. The extent of the severe damage to #22's Merlin wasn't evident until the engine cowlings were removed by the crew, which is illustrated in the following detail photos shown here. (Note: The 5-Gal. pail contains the 'loose change' held by the lower cowls after the engine let go!).

Despite the serious setback, the team managed to swap over to a stock motor to successfully qualify MM, & race in their scheduled heat races Thurs. & Friday, w/Bill Eberhardt piloting.

Saturday morning brought the scary oxygen bottle gremlin incident, that ended team's race competition at Reno 2006. Great job of flying by the Eberhardts & no serious injuries in the bottle explosion, ('WHEW!') & MERLIN'S MAGIC was repaired to fly & race again. :thumbsup: :beerchug:

:cool: DBD

BuckyD
02-10-2009, 10:50 PM
The air racing gremlins were hard at work at Reno '97 NCAR & hungry for making trouble, especially within the ranks of the Unlimiteds. Some compelling evidence of their voracious appetites is illustrated in the following B&W archive photos, including some truly knarley holes & bite marks. :eek13:

This first set of shots details pilot/owner- Tom Dwelle's Super Sea Fury - Race #10 CRITICAL MASS, following noted hired-gun race pilot- Skip Holm's Lap-5 Mayday exit from Sunday's Unlimited Silver on 9/14/97.

While Skip was holding down third place, leading edge fragments of #10's engine cowling began breaking-off & did some serious extra damage to the Hawker's RH horizontal stabililzer- giving Holm the impression he'd been targeted by ack-ack. Tom Dwelle is seen giving some die-hard fans the inside scoop in the pits after the event. :cool:DBD

Ken from PG
02-11-2009, 12:32 AM
A couple of a souvenir from 2006

BuckyD
02-11-2009, 02:47 AM
After creating substantial havoc chomping on #10 Critical Mass' airframe & snuffing Stu Eberhardt's motor in #22 Merlin's Magic during Reno '97 NCAR's Unltd. Silver Race- the 'Gremlin Gang' got extra-busy brewing-up some really serious chaos for that season's Unlimited Gold Championship contenders.

To setup a truly-dramatic stage for the final event, they created some of the fiercest windy conditions ever experienced out on the Stead Field racecourse in its' entire history, for race organizers, contestants & race fans to deal with that day. :eek13:

Another much-anticipated showdown between race champions- Bill 'Tiger' Destefani in his P-51D #7 STREGA vs. 'World's-Fastest'- Lyle Shelton in Race #77 RARE BEAR got underway, leading seven other hard-charging big-iron Unlimited challengers, w/Tiger leading at a gruelling pace for all pursuers, particularly- Shelton in second-place.

Gremlin nasties wasted no time in jumping onto RARE BEAR's mighty Wright R-3350 motor by eating up a header weld, which torched some big holes in the engine cowling, while messing-up the ignition and air intake systems to handicap Shelton w/a rough-running powerplant for most of the race. The BEAR was shedding hot metal fragments down onto the desert sagebrush along its' flightpath around the course, starting small brushfires. :eek:

Tiger prevailed to log another Gold Trophy win in STREGA, w/Lyle Shelton managing to nurse his stricken Bearcat past the Home Pylon for a 3rd-place finish behind Brian Sanders in #8 Dreadnought, before declaring his Mayday.

Severe gusts & tricky crosswinds forced some hairy landing scenarios onto all the Gold finishers. Shelton muscled The BEAR safely down onto the old closed runway, w/Tiger & STREGA following his move. Destefani soon found his fresh victory to be hard-won & at great expense- w/a hard-landing damaging a main wing spar, and a near nose-over dinging his race prop (w/more damage to the engine & nose case). :mad::o

Following are some B&W archive photos- capturing both STREGA & BEAR being returned to the pits by their respective crews after Sunday's Gold Race, and some damage details f/historical ref.

The prowess & courage of air racing pilots is truly awe-inspiring, to say the least. Here's a sincere toast of thanks to two of the sport's all-time greatest champions: Tiger Destefani & Lyle Shelton :beerchug::thumbsup:

:cool: DBD

BuckyD
02-11-2009, 02:55 AM
Here's the post-Reno '97 Gold Race STREGA & BEAR photos...

(Seem to have had some tech problems managing these attachments for prev. posting. Sorry)

:cool:DBD

SCEPTER
02-11-2009, 11:12 AM
-WOW-
Thanks for sharing those pics and stories BuckyD. I've never seen pics of Strega after that hard landing. The pics of #22's motor are really good also. :thumbsup:

WASP-kid
02-11-2009, 07:28 PM
-WOW-
Thanks for sharing those pics and stories BuckyD. I've never seen pics of Strega after that hard landing. The pics of #22's motor are really good also. :thumbsup:

What he said. Very sweet history lesson.