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Thread: Whatever happened to....

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Dunedin, New Zealand
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    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
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    west valley/silicon valley
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    232

    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
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    Seattle, Washington
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    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.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Pacific Palisades, CA
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    Default Re: Whatever happened to....

    Joe's yo-yo type lowering of the nose by steeply banking in a series of timed cycles arriving back to the runway at just the right period in the cycle to touch down more or less normally displayed way more talent and technique than that used to build that airplane. If it'd been a jet with an ejection seat it would no longer exist.
    Chris...

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Whatever happened to....

    It's damn interesting reading the various reports and accounts of the wildfire tale, and Big Jim you are very right, it seems to very much be a us v everyone tale.. It would be interesting to hear from the likes of Dave Morss, Matt Jackson, and i think Skip Holm was involved at some point as well.
    race fan, photographer with more cameras than a camera store

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    San Diego, CA
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    Default Re: Whatever happened to....

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiracefan View Post
    It's damn interesting reading the various reports and accounts of the wildfire tale, and Big Jim you are very right, it seems to very much be a us v everyone tale.. It would be interesting to hear from the likes of Dave Morss, Matt Jackson, and i think Skip Holm was involved at some point as well.
    It seems like Matt must be enjoying the project or sees it paying off in the long run. I know that Matt is not the type to waste time or effort on something. He's a very busy guy and if there's no reason to be working on Wildfire, he wouldn't have signed up in the first place. I also think he is one of the smarter members when it comes to making sure that plane is safe for Reno.

    I was wondering on what scale are Elliot and Justin involved? It didn't seem like the LA Times article portrayed that as being any part of it, but I've seen some things that may sway differently. And with Elliot getting behind the stick of Dreadnought, maybe it's prep for something bigger? Conspiracy for now...!
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '17

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    1,645

    Default Re: Whatever happened to....

    Quote Originally Posted by GRNDP51 View Post
    It seems like Matt must be enjoying the project or sees it paying off in the long run. I know that Matt is not the type to waste time or effort on something. He's a very busy guy and if there's no reason to be working on Wildfire, he wouldn't have signed up in the first place. I also think he is one of the smarter members when it comes to making sure that plane is safe for Reno.

    I was wondering on what scale are Elliot and Justin involved? It didn't seem like the LA Times article portrayed that as being any part of it, but I've seen some things that may sway differently. And with Elliot getting behind the stick of Dreadnought, maybe it's prep for something bigger? Conspiracy for now...!
    Elliott works for the Sanders in some capacity now.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    San Diego, CA
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    Default Re: Whatever happened to....

    Quote Originally Posted by Race5 View Post
    Elliott works for the Sanders in some capacity now.
    Do you know what working for them means for Elliot? All I've seen is the smokewinder stuff..? Elliot is a very smart guy with a lot of capabilities and skills, and "working for the Sanders" doesn't add up. I know he does test flights and side gigs for people, but is there something important that Elliot is doing? I mean... If they wanted a capable test pilot for a full race Argo I could understand
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '17

  9. #19

    Default Re: Whatever happened to....

    Quote Originally Posted by GRNDP51 View Post
    And with Elliot getting behind the stick of Dreadnought, maybe it's prep for something bigger?
    The use of the phrase "something bigger" and "Dreadnought" in the same sentence made me laugh out loud... :-D

    And yes, I know what you meant.
    Last edited by 440_Magnum; 11-07-2017 at 09:22 AM.

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