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Thread: Before it was Rare Bear

  1. #31

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Back in the long ago times when aviation was still a bit of a rodeo I met the Bearcat. A friend I'd met in school that had been helping the team out encouraged me to "interview", I was not sure why I'd need to interview for a volunteer position probably pushing a broom. I was still in school and barely knew an elevator vs an aileron but I had no shame so I called the phone number my friend had given me and eventually sat down in an office with a guy named Bill Noctor, the only thing I actually recall was him asking me "What's your specialty?" I responded I have no experience or specialty. He smiled and said "Your specialty is honesty". Then we went out behind the hangar where the airplane was parked, it looked like a wreck. Nothing from the firewall forward, the outer wings and all of the other flight controls had been removed, it had obviously been through some hard times and it seemed sort of sad. I did notice that regardless of the absence of the engine it was still leaking oil. Bill said "Do you want the job?". That afternoon ended up consuming a good portion of my '20s. I met a lot of people along the way, mostly good, sometimes bad, but mostly good. '93-'99 was a heck of a ride for sure. I promise to not talk about snooters.

  2. #32

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by knot4u View Post
    Back in the long ago times when aviation was still a bit of a rodeo I met the Bearcat. A friend I'd met in school that had been helping the team out encouraged me to "interview", I was not sure why I'd need to interview for a volunteer position probably pushing a broom. I was still in school and barely knew an elevator vs an aileron but I had no shame so I called the phone number my friend had given me and eventually sat down in an office with a guy named Bill Noctor, the only thing I actually recall was him asking me "What's your specialty?" I responded I have no experience or specialty. He smiled and said "Your specialty is honesty". Then we went out behind the hangar where the airplane was parked, it looked like a wreck. Nothing from the firewall forward, the outer wings and all of the other flight controls had been removed, it had obviously been through some hard times and it seemed sort of sad. I did notice that regardless of the absence of the engine it was still leaking oil. Bill said "Do you want the job?". That afternoon ended up consuming a good portion of my 20s. I met a lot of people along the way, mostly good, sometimes bad, but mostly good. '93-'99 was a heck of a ride for sure. I promise to not talk about snooters.
    Your still one of my favorite people I have had the privilege to crew with.
    John Slack

  3. #33

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by BellCobraIV View Post
    Your still one of my favorite people I have had the privilege to crew with.
    The feeling is mutual. I am curious about the time that Lyle let it all hang out, what happened?
    Last edited by knot4u; 05-05-2021 at 04:49 PM.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    The Canadian Rockies
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    2,258

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by BellCobraIV View Post
    Neal This is the picture of launching for the first Flight
    Attachment 25355
    I have a feeling that the shot with the pickup was by Birch Matthews. Birch's stuff tends to be more formal, and often has a distinctive look. His technique was excellent -- he shot like an engineer. Pete shot more like a mechanic, and the shot you posted is somehow more informal.

    Neal
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #35
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    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    I've been poking through Dell Rourk's book about Lyle and the Bear, and relearned some things about Bill Hickle, and his part in deciding to significantly change the thrust angle. That seems like a huge decision to make at that stage of a program. I can't quite imagine trying to work out and stress a piece like this new build engine mount when you are not only hanging a new engine and prop but changing the engine's whole relationship with the rest of the airplane -- and then have it work out perfectly...

    Didn't Grumman and all the other manufacturers have whole departments to do this stuff?

    Neal
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #36
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    Jan 2008
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    Seattle, Washington
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    1,934

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    BCIV needs to talk about the one and only time that The Squeeze was actually ever used in competition. That does not count all the times that it was loaded up, and all the times it was purged on the ramp "just to show the others that you had it". But lets talk about what led up to it, how Lyle used it, and as I recall, how it caught him a bit off guard...and it was never used again.

  7. #37

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Jim View Post
    BCIV needs to talk about the one and only time that The Squeeze was actually ever used in competition. That does not count all the times that it was loaded up, and all the times it was purged on the ramp "just to show the others that you had it". But lets talk about what led up to it, how Lyle used it, and as I recall, how it caught him a bit off guard...and it was never used again.
    Well, yes and no. That was not the one time that we used the Nitrous oxide in a race, heck there were a few times towards the end of the Gold race in 1991 when Skip turned the RPM on Tsunami back and ran the power setting that had been prescribed and the little airplane started to show it's real potential. But it was the result of inexperience in the split calling, and a new procedure that caused the "incident" in 1989. More on that in a bit.

    Neal, the engine mount is a good story, still working on nailing down a couple of facts. Your going to want to save that answer.

    Neal, thank you for the push, I have been wanting to call Bill Hickle for a while, I have to use caution when I leave him a message because it gets him worried about my Mom. I always have to start the message with "My Mom is fine....." Any way great call hour and twenty minutes.
    John
    Last edited by BellCobraIV; 05-06-2021 at 03:56 PM.
    John Slack

  8. #38

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by wingman View Post
    I've been poking through Dell Rourk's book about Lyle and the Bear, and relearned some things about Bill Hickle, and his part in deciding to significantly change the thrust angle. That seems like a huge decision to make at that stage of a program. I can't quite imagine trying to work out and stress a piece like this new build engine mount when you are not only hanging a new engine and prop but changing the engine's whole relationship with the rest of the airplane -- and then have it work out perfectly...

    Didn't Grumman and all the other manufacturers have whole departments to do this stuff?

    Neal
    God made the earth and the sky, and it was good and god was happy. Somehow about 140 lbs of both got squeezed out and that became Bill Hickle. God wasn't sure but he was tired and let it grow.
    Last edited by knot4u; 05-06-2021 at 07:06 PM.

  9. #39

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Love hearing about the Bear.............something I've never seen is video of the time to climb record. Anyone know where that might be viewed? Keep the stories coming.

  10. #40

    Default Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by supercub View Post
    Love hearing about the Bear.............something I've never seen is video of the time to climb record. Anyone know where that might be viewed? Keep the stories coming.
    Video of the time to climb, we shot some very fuzzy Super 8 movie, however I have not seen that film physically since prior to the 3Km run in 1989 when we looked for it to include in the 3Km movie unsuccessfully. Right now the only place it plays is in the theater of my mind, but there it has sound!
    John Slack

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