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Thread: Why did Rare Bear pull out of Sundays Gold Race?

  1. #21

    Default Re: Why did Rare Bear pull out of Sundays Gold Race?

    The engineer in me would sincerely love to know exactly why they were (apparently- do we REALLY know?) having high cylinder head temps this year when (again- apparently) the cowl cooling air flow hasn't changed radically since the boil-off oil cooling was added.

    I know that unless I went and worked for Mr. Lewis, I'll probably never get to know those specifics.

    As for speculation from the outside, I think too much of it is just going to be talking out of wrong body orifices since we don't have direct access to the facts. We can guess all we want, but the team has smart guys with direct access to the hardware who can figure out what happened and why. For WHATEVER reason we may or may not know, the bird was limited in power this year and it was pretty obvious. But that's about as specific as it gets from "out here."

    You know there IS such a thing as a long run of bad luck... which all the smarts, money, and skill in the world and a pilot with cojones of spent uranium can't change.

    The Strega team REALLY have brought an "A" game the last 3 years that IMO hasn't been seen since the Dago Red / Kerch years. Did you hear Steven talking about what they do after every race? Pull the cam racks, re-torque the head nuts, and completely re-adjust the valve train in addition to screens and plugs and all the routine stuff? I mean... wow. Don't call the Bear a "high maintenance beast" compared to that! Compared to Dreadnought where they check the screens and change the plugs- yeah. But Strega is a high-maintenance beast in the extreme, definitely comparable to the Bear. The difference is that, through a combination of preparedness, not NEEDING to use the whole wick to win, (and yes... good luck the last few years), they won again and did it with style. But in the back of my mind I can't help but think that one electrical glitch taking out the ADI, one snapped valve finger, one backfire, and Strega could have been on the ground early too. Tiger has been there and done that quite a few times in the past, lest we forget. There's a LOT that can go wrong in any of these machines, even the "stockers!"

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: Why did Rare Bear pull out of Sundays Gold Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbs View Post
    Does somebody know if or how top teams are modyfing their airfoils (and I explicit guess not the skin)?

    From what I understand a stock Sea Fury airfoil (as known laminar like P-51) is much thinner than Bearcat's and therefore should be theoretically visible faster than the thicker F8F airfoil?

    Gibbs
    Gibbs, so I had typed a nice (long) response to your question and it got sent into oblivion.

    From what I understand the Sea Fury wing airfoil set up has a better critical mach number than the thick 23000 Naca series airfoils on the Bear. Bear airfoil was modified some time back and tested, then put back to stock. Looks like the wing root area has been cleaned up since.
    Last edited by John; 09-18-2012 at 01:25 PM.

  3. #23
    Rampman Guest

    Default Re: Why did Rare Bear pull out of Sundays Gold Race?

    Well said 440 magnum. Everybody forget about the rash of bearing failures Stega had before this run of championships? I think they sat out 2 years in a row.

    It ain't easy getting these old engines to run the power levels needed to win the gold race. I think luck plays a huge part.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Why did Rare Bear pull out of Sundays Gold Race?

    440_Magnum is exactly right about Strega, and ANY highly strung Gold race Mustang, for that matter. What he just described is the bare minimum required when racing at that level. When you're pulling well over 100" MAP and in excess of 3400 RPM, even the tiniest glitch can set a nasty chain of events in motion. So you build the best you can, prepare the best you can, maintain the best you can, and then pray to the gods of HP for the rest.

    SA

  5. #25

    Default Re: Why did Rare Bear pull out of Sundays Gold Race?

    I think that all of these racers have some share of luck, but the last few years Strega has looked pretty amazing.

    In regard to the bear, I think that the last few years have really put into perspective how hard Lyle and the "old" crew worked to keep that bird competitive with hardly any money. Maybe more of the old crew should have been kept around, if nothing else just for their experience at getting huge problems fixed at all hours of the night during race week.

    The bear used to always be fun to root for because she was a massive underdog (I remember them selling used spark plugs to get money for a new race motor). It feels a little different now, like more money but less passion.

    Best of luck to the crew/owner/pilot in finding that right combination of passion and luck in the next year. I'll be expecting to see the bear return to her former glory in 2013!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    233

    Default Re: Why did Rare Bear pull out of Sundays Gold Race?

    No question, Tiger has his race program totally dialed in! And yes, Bear's issues do put into perspective what Lyle accomplished! I remember not long ago when all the Merlyns were crapping out and it became a roundy show. I don't know about luck. Tiger has found something huge and the Lewis team is still searching. Did Bear have the three blade prop on her when she ran above 500? There was some pit talk about that Sat night. Heard the turbulence beat the crap out of the rudder.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Collierville TN
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Why did Rare Bear pull out of Sundays Gold Race?

    It's my understanding from earlier posts on this site that the aero mods to the wing were worth about 10 knots and also lowered the stalling speed but it reduce the air flow in to the carb and oil coolers, also a crew member told me they needed to do the same mod to the horizontal stab. The airplane also stalled about 2 knots less. I also read somewhere that Dave Cornell didn't like the mod so it was removed, he thought he could win on horsepower alone. Another question is if they uses nitrous oxide, Lyle told me it was worth about 800 horsepower, about half from lower induction temps and the rest from being able to burn more fuel. Remember the airplane went over 541 on the straight line speed record passes, and was making (if you can believe what has been published) about 4400 horsepower. The announcer at Reno said they were making only 3800 which was the same as Strega. I'm just guessing but I don't think 4400 HP would make for a 500 mph lap without aero mods but what do I know? I've never heard of the Bear having CHT problems. Also I remember last year seeing water from the boil off system coming out the tail, didn't see that this year. Of course an ADI failure at full power could be really bad, if that was the case he acted quick enough to land under power.

    If I was rich I'd buy Voodoo and do the GG mods like Bob Button said he was gonna do a few years ago, then put in a Nixon motor. At any rate my wife says she won't go to the race anymore as she's tired of seeing Strega win by half a lap at cruise power and she predicts many others will feel the same which will really hurt RARAs financial situation. Hope she's wrong.
    Ron Henning

  8. #28

    Default Re: Why did Rare Bear pull out of Sundays Gold Race?

    IMHO to win you need the exact four components.

    THE PILOT
    The Crew
    the MONEY
    And the Racer

    As happens in every final winner result, the proper combination of these factors at THAT moment always gives the winner. Letīs name it airracing, car racing, bikes...

    I remember some years ago Lyle was close to have all the beans together and made a legend in air racing, and HE is in the Hall of Fame. He was the pilot for that RB assisted by that CREW people, in that glorius moments.
    Of couse Iīm sure the money was not enough, but they did it well also.

    Sorry to write about without knowing it all but thatīs the way I saw it.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Texas, Oregon
    Posts
    632

    Default Re: Why did Rare Bear pull out of Sundays Gold Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron101502 View Post
    Also I remember last year seeing water from the boil off system coming out the tail, didn't see that this year.
    Nice post, Ron.

    This weekend, I made the same observation about the lack of steam from the tail.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Why did Rare Bear pull out of Sundays Gold Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by taglialavore View Post
    IMHO to win you need the exact four components.

    THE PILOT
    The Crew
    the MONEY
    And the Racer

    As happens in every final winner result, the proper combination of these factors at THAT moment always gives the winner. Letīs name it airracing, car racing, bikes...

    I remember some years ago Lyle was close to have all the beans together and made a legend in air racing, and HE is in the Hall of Fame. He was the pilot for that RB assisted by that CREW people, in that glorius moments.
    Of couse Iīm sure the money was not enough, but they did it well also.

    Sorry to write about without knowing it all but thatīs the way I saw it.
    The Lyle factor in reality was bigger than life, when Lyle was racing the Bearcat he could and did make all the decisions that needed to be made in that moment. It was his airplane, he was the pilot AND he was a monster of a competitor. Lyle thought about the next race from the moment he climbed out of the plane after the gold race all year long until they were headed down Lemmon Valley rd. and the pace plane said you've got a race.
    In my opinion Strega is the fastest racer around at this moment in time. 232 and Hoot Gibson, did their job, the bearcat kill markings were priceless. However Greg Shaw would have taken the pictures of the kill markings glued them supersized on the Rare.Bear hangar wall to motivate the Bear team. I am not saying the Bear's team isn't motivated and good just that Shaw would be on a rampage against 232 after that. Stevo, Tiger, LD Nixon and Jose Florez and company have it all together and it shows.
    Last edited by AAFO_WSagar; 09-20-2012 at 12:11 PM. Reason: fixed typo for Slackman
    John Slack

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