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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Peoria, Arizona

    Default Blue Skies Larry Burton

    I have some somber news, but I believe those who knew him would want to know.

    29 years ago a bunch of car guys and two airport bums rolled into Stead with a highly modified Sea Fury named Blind Mans Bluff.
    We had a couple of semi tractors full of tools and engines. The first Sea Fury to sport a Sky Raider 3350, Poppy Orange and Black, It looked like a racer from the thirties.

    It was an interesting week to say the least.

    We went through engines like water.

    Every night was an engine change.

    The CIA hangar was our home. Thanks for that you guys.

    The crew chief was a car guy in a wheel chair named Larry Burton. The Guy who painted the plane was Larry's brother Dale.
    Bucky has a lot of great shots of BMB so I won't post any here.

    I said on Facebook. It's ironic to me that during Reno Race week, The guy whose idea and inspiration it was to build that awesome plane has flown into the Sunset.

    Larry Burton took off for the last time at 5:30 AM in Phoenix, He has one brother left. Dale left us last year.
    Ron Burton lives in Indianapolis.

    If you want to know about Larry, he had a very, very long thread here a couple years ago. He was working on making it a book but publishers have things. It has not gotten past first base yet.

    I was one of the airport bums who met Larry in the Levolor hangar because I was driving around Scottsdale airport looking for planes.
    The goofiest looking plane I had ever seen was sitting out on the ramp in front of the hangar and I had to go in and ask.
    I walked in and saw Dale first. I asked him, He said it was a Percival Prentice. (Google images)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the actual one.

    Anyway Dale told me they were building a Racer and I asked if they needed help.
    Go ask the boss in the office. I walked in and shook Larry's hand and started working volunteer for a couple weeks before being hired full time. That's how I met Larry Burton and the game was on. He was stern as a boss, and you better not say "I can't do that" to him. He was a racer, a builder of racing machines and you can build anything.

    I was working with a bunch of car builders. Boy did I learn some serious stuff. I considered myself a good mechanic until I came here.
    I worked for Larry off and on over the next 25 years. Our last project was building the engine for a F-1 plane in 2009 owned and flown by Bill Garrison. I may give our secret away sometime. The rules are tuff in F-1.

    We put together an engine in Larry's garage using Harbor Freight tools Some Snap-On but not many.
    That engine because of us thinking outside the box was legal and basically hung on the fasted Slabwing F-1 to date.
    Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that a guy who once took cars to Bonneville with Mickey Thompson, And Indy with AJ Foyt, and a few others, met a guy who sold mini blinds, who wanted to build an Air Racer and did it with a bunch of car builders and a couple of airport bums, all from a wheelchair, flew off in to blue skies this morning.

    Tail Winds and Fair Skies to Larry Burton, One of the smartest, greatest, toughest, best friends I ever had.
    We'll meet again my friend.
    Last edited by Flyer57; 09-17-2016 at 06:34 PM.
    Roger O'Day

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