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Thread: Whatever happened to....

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    Posts
    717

    Default Re: Whatever happened to....

    Quote Originally Posted by supercub View Post

    It would be interesting to know all the details about this project, since my understanding is that it flew years and years ago. Seems like I read that it had some major stability problems and the flight was basically just around the pattern once. Dave Morse did some taxi test on it a few years ago too. That airplane has a very unique look to it, bordering on scary looking.......that's just my opinion. Seems like I heard the fuselage is a T-6 that has been beefed up.......hopefully someone else can chime in here with more accurate info and details. Wildfire has a website, although the last time I looked it hadn't been updated for awhile.
    From what i read around the web about wildfire, the wing centre was originally T-6, but that was about it, fuse was basically scratch built in the end along the lines of a T-6 but bigger and beefier for the R2800, the original test pilot threw the carefully planned test schedule out the window and never listened to the builders after over selling his capabilities then when it went wrong he proceeded to bad mouth the project.
    Infact, there is a great interview here on aafo that was done by Bill Pearce in 2004 here with the Wildfire designer and builders..
    race fan, photographer with more cameras than a camera store

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    west valley/silicon valley
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: Whatever happened to....

    Quote Originally Posted by supercub View Post
    The Gulfhawk in Chino (not the original) also had 2 seats, I think it's the only Bearcat that ever had a second seat in it. I believe the canopy was different to accommodate the second seat.
    John Herlihey put a back seat in N198F in 1983~'84 using the stock canopy.
    He told us that the reason he sold his P-51 "This is it" was because it had a back seat for when his wife wanted to fly with him and after he got a back seat in the Bearcat he "didn't need the Mustang anymore".
    remember the Oogahonk!

    old school enthusiast of Civiltary Warbirds

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Seattle, Washington
    Posts
    1,770

    Default Re: Whatever happened to....

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiracefan View Post
    From what i read around the web about wildfire, the wing centre was originally T-6, but that was about it, fuse was basically scratch built in the end along the lines of a T-6 but bigger and beefier for the R2800, the original test pilot threw the carefully planned test schedule out the window and never listened to the builders after over selling his capabilities then when it went wrong he proceeded to bad mouth the project.
    Infact, there is a great interview here on aafo that was done by Bill Pearce in 2004 here with the Wildfire designer and builders..
    Other way around. The fuselage was the tube frame off of a T-6. The cockpit is where the back seat of the T-6 is. The wing is entirely new build, with T-6 landing gear and wheels.

    The test pilot was Joe Guthrie from Flight Systems. And he didn't throw away the test schedule. The plane was doing its very first high-speed taxi test on the runway at Mojave. The c.g. on the airplane was so far out of whack aft that the plane became airborne at a relatively low speed and steep climb angle. Rather than try to bring the plane back down on the runway from a nose-high attitude with limited visibility, Guthrie elected to try to get the airplane in somewhat level trim and make a circuit around the pattern to set up for an emergency landing. It was a struggle, but he did get the airplane down in one piece. Once he shut down he promptly walked away, vowing never to sit in it again. Thus began a he-said/she-said war of words between the pilot and the owners in an attempt for both sides to save face that has lasted over 30 years. The fact that the airplane has never left terra-firma again, despite several highly experienced pilots (Holm, Morss, Jackson) working on the project kind of says something.

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