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Thread: Before it was Rare Bear

  1. #51

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by AAFO_WSagar View Post
    Would be nice to see something like that come out of this.. We've never done a book, unsure of fees and such, suspect that as with all air race stuff, the audience is limited thus is the market for any product out of it..

    Hopefully this little electronic field of play which seems to have dragged in some pretty cool players will satiate the need... come back often LOL!!
    Answers like the last one are forcing me to dig a little deeper, don't worry I am going back in to the caves of the past. C'Ya soon.
    John Slack

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    In the meanwhile I'll post another Pete Behenna photo or two. So back in 1969 Lyle had an airplane shell, a remarkable crew coalescing, and parts coming in from around the country. He still needed an engine. According to Dell Rourk, Lyle went to see George Byard at Aircraft Cylinder and Turbine in Sun Valley, Ca.

    AC&T had an old R3350 in the open out back of the shop -- it was scheduled for salvage and had been sitting back there in the weather with no plugs or stacks and rainwater in the cylinders. George donated the engine to Lyle's project. George Putman cleaned out the sticks, birdsnests, and other crap and with some help from the mechanics at AC&T managed to rebuild the motor.

    John -- what was the timeline of all this? When did Lyle move the kit into the hangar? When was the fuselage more or less complete? When did Putnam get his hands on the engine and when was it actually hung on the airplane?

    Neal
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    Last edited by wingman; 05-24-2021 at 12:08 AM.

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Reno
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    1,295

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Man, apparently Pete had an eye. That second image is gorgeous. So this is the first motor? Well, the first 3350 to be mounted to this airframe? Had there been another 3350 on a Bearcat at that point? A scrapheap motor on a scrapheap airframe. Talk about humble beginnings to basically the most beloved air racer of all time. Especially to Reno-ites. It sure was nice to be able to drive out and peek through window and see The Bear. I miss it.
    You'll get your chance, smart guy!

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    NV
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    1,691

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    WOW. Classic 3350 photos. Thanks for sharing.
    Lockheed Bob

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Maui, Hawaii
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    821

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Did the engine in the photos have the slow nose case?

  6. #56
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    Mar 2002
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    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    No -- I think that first engine was quite stock. They ran decently in 1969, though with systems problems. They ran better, with all systems working in 1970 -- til they blew up the engine due to bad advice on fuel mixing. They then built up their first "hybrid" 3350 for Cape May in 1971. Apparently that was an ex-airline motor with supercharger and other modifications done largely by Bill Coulter and Mel Gregoire at AC&T. I think that was the first motor with the "slow" nose case. BCIV obviously knows far more about this than I -- I hope we'll get there in the future...

    Neal

  7. #57

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    I haven't disappeared, I've just been buried in a couple of projects at home. I should get some time to answer some questions this weekend.
    John Slack

  8. #58
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    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    So which weekend was that, John? I just wanted to bring this thing up front again -- there are things I'm curious about

    This thread has been fun.

  9. #59

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by wingman View Post
    So which weekend was that, John? I just wanted to bring this thing up front again -- there are things I'm curious about

    This thread has been fun.
    Neal,
    It was like the lost weekend, I was dealing with multiple people that I couldn't say "no" to. I had to get introspection into what was actually going on with all of it. In the end I am learning to say "not now" because that is slightly different than no.

    I came here and started to go over past history, because it was fun. Then forces in the universe decided I needed to do things I didn't want to do, so this personal enjoyment was the fuse. Once again I could put it on hold. I'm finally learning to say "not now." Eventually I will graduate to prioritizing my projects and being able to do magic for others. So back to our story. It was "The Long Weekend in the sense of getting my head more together and cleaning up loose ends, I didn't have any moving out or arguing with my lovely wife in that aspect. Anyway the weekend is over, and there wasn't any May Pang involved.
    Last edited by BellCobraIV; 10-06-2021 at 12:33 PM.
    John Slack

  10. #60
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    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    " forces in the universe decided I needed to do things I didn't want to do "

    I really dislike those particular forces. I've encountered them a lot the last few years. It only gets worse as you get older.


    " John -- what was the timeline of all this? When did Lyle move the kit into the hangar? When was the fuselage more or less complete? When did Putnam get his hands on the engine and when was it actually hung on the airplane? "

    I'm still interested in this -- I've never seen such a timeline and I've always been blown away by how quickly this all came together -- broken(literally) stripped shell and trashed run out engine core to on the course at Reno.

    Did that first engine come to Lyle with any accessories and such? What did you do for carb, supercharger, fuel pumps and so on. The magnitude of what was done in that year is just amazing.

    When did you first meet Mel Gregoire?

    Neal
    Last edited by wingman; 10-06-2021 at 12:49 PM.

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