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Thread: Mr. Awesome

  1. #1

    Default Mr. Awesome

    Saw some pics that people posted on FB about the fate of Mr. Awesome. Apparently it is at an aviation museum in Amarillo, TX. It is out side, with all the cowling off. People who have seen it recently report that spark plugs are missing and water is in more than one cylinder, and engine is possibly hydrolocked. According to one poster, the person who donated the plane stipulated that it never be sold nor flown again. Again, take all that for what it is worth, but looking at the pics, it does appear in pretty rough shape.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    west valley/silicon valley
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    232

    Default Re: Mr. Awesome

    You can see it on google earth, outside the Texas Air & Space Museum. And you can see the cowling is off.
    There is also a C-123 and a Huey Cobra nearby.
    remember the Oogahonk!

    old school enthusiast of Civiltary Warbirds

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    1,645

    Default Re: Mr. Awesome

    That engine is just an old scrap core that was bolted on when it was donated. The museum plans to make new cowlings for it (the originals were badly damaged at some point) and paint it as funds allow.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mr. Awesome

    Very glad to hear that. Like I said in my original posting, take everything with a large grain of salt. Still wish it would have continued racing.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mr. Awesome

    This plane gets the Most Beastly Award of all for the Unlimited Class. Can't tell you how much I have so wanted to see this plane race again; an instant contender for anyone that could have tamed her.

    Does anyone have any good photos? It would take me years to try to dig mine up, not that they were ever that good.
    Last edited by John Richard; 11-29-2017 at 04:14 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    282

    Default Re: Mr. Awesome

    Still wish it would have continued racing.
    This is a classic example of, "you should be careful what you wish for".

    I was there to see Mr. A. race. Those were the real "good 'ol days" in my opinion. That era hosted a bunch of custom super unlimited birds.

    Mr. A. was a beast. Think Skip was the pilot. This thing was a frankenstein monster with stability issues. There is a good reason the prior owner stipulated the bird never fly again. Gotta respect that.
    My name is Glen Merritt. '71 S.D.1000, '85-'91,'95,'97-'99,'02,'04,'06,'08,'10,'13,'14 NCAR.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, CA.
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Mr. Awesome

    I just checked their website and it has a picture of Mr. Awesome on the top of the home page!

    http://www.texasairandspacemuseum.or...r-awesome.html

    Race 29
    Full throttle till you see God, then turn left!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mr. Awesome

    If memory serves, this is an early pic of Mr Awesome. After the General Dynamics F-16 test pilot Neal Anderson balled it up on landing (after a couple of laps erratic butt dancing) it was rebuilt with a "borrowed" T-33 tail section for better linear control. When a test pilot complains about flight characteristics, one might just realize that this thing is a nose heavy pig that was not completely thought through. Same with grafting Lear wings on a '51 with or without a Griffin on the nose. But then these late '80s creations and others were certainly fan draws.

    I think it was '88 when Strega qualified nearly 20 mph faster than the previous year. When I asked Kerch if he had bolted on more ponies he replied no and told me this. "We did 200 things that gave us 1/10th of a mph each - and you can't even find'em! Oh hell that was an exciting time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Seattle, Washington
    Posts
    1,774

    Default Re: Mr. Awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by Sneauxman View Post
    If memory serves, this is an early pic of Mr Awesome. After the General Dynamics F-16 test pilot Neal Anderson balled it up on landing (after a couple of laps erratic butt dancing) it was rebuilt with a "borrowed" T-33 tail section for better linear control.
    That's not exactly the timeline for this.

    It was built and tested by Joe Kasparoff's crew (including Matt Jackson) with all the modifications but a STOCK Yak-11 tail.

    Skip Holm said emphatically that there was not enough directional control, so right before Reno '88 they fabricated the 'slab tail'. In this configuration Skip qualified at 417 mph, and finished fourth (off the top of my head) in the Thursday Silver heat. Even with the slab tail, the directional control was unsuitable under racing conditions, so Skip and Joe sat the plane for the remainder of the event.

    Between Reno '88 and '89, Joe Kasparoff's crew removed the slab tail and empennage from the racer and installed the vertical/horizontal from a T-33. The intent was for Skip to continue racing it, but shortly before Reno (as many of these transactions occur) 1989, Darryl Greenamyer purchased Mr. Awesome from Joe Kasparoff. Greenamyer got Neil Anderson to be the pilot. All reports were that the T-33 empennage modification made a significant improvement in handling. There was no 'erratic butt dancing'. The engine overheated and seized on takeoff for qualifying and that was where Neil cartwheeled it off the runway.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Texas, Oregon
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Mr. Awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Jim View Post
    That's not exactly the timeline for this.

    It was built and tested by Joe Kasparoff's crew (including Matt Jackson) with all the modifications but a STOCK Yak-11 tail.

    Skip Holm said emphatically that there was not enough directional control, so right before Reno '88 they fabricated the 'slab tail'. In this configuration Skip qualified at 417 mph, and finished fourth (off the top of my head) in the Thursday Silver heat. Even with the slab tail, the directional control was unsuitable under racing conditions, so Skip and Joe sat the plane for the remainder of the event.

    Between Reno '88 and '89, Joe Kasparoff's crew removed the slab tail and empennage from the racer and installed the vertical/horizontal from a T-33. The intent was for Skip to continue racing it, but shortly before Reno (as many of these transactions occur) 1989, Darryl Greenamyer purchased Mr. Awesome from Joe Kasparoff. Greenamyer got Neil Anderson to be the pilot. All reports were that the T-33 empennage modification made a significant improvement in handling. There was no 'erratic butt dancing'. The engine overheated and seized on takeoff for qualifying and that was where Neil cartwheeled it off the runway.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but for the accident flight, one of the main gear wasn't coming down as well. It appeared to me (so, speculation on my part) that Neil Anderson was trying to cycle the gear to get both mains down, but began to run out of runway before that happened.

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