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Thread: Ralph Wise unlimited - 1986

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Star, Idaho
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    Default Ralph Wise unlimited - 1986

    Being the Air Racer fanatic I was as a kid, I used to go out to Ralph Wise's hangar at the Camarillo airport quite often. Here are some photos of an unlimited he was working on in 1986. I believe he was getting prepared for a 6-liter class that never materialized. The landing gear was patterned after the 1930's Folkerts racer, retracting into the fuselage. The overall design was an evolution of Ralphs Owl formula one, which you can really see in the tail feathers & tailwheel. I climbed into the cockpit, and all I can say is "TIGHT". Vaseline on the flight suit would be mandatory for entry/exit! Anyone know what happened to this plane?

    Dan
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Santa Rosa,CA
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    468

    Default Re: Ralph Wise unlimited - 1986

    Great stuff...keep 'em coming!
    Red
    chanting...400+

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Mojave, CA
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    546

    Default Re: Ralph Wise unlimited - 1986

    fantastic, thank you for posting these

    RW 500: After he traded the 540 (shown in picture) for the v-8 the project was retired. Ralph or badass as we call him at Wasabi, says that when the bear went 527 it made him rethink it, he didnt think he could go much over 500 and the thought of flying formation with an airplane as big as a bearcat with an airplane as small as the RW summed up to more than he wanted to take on. My favorite part of this story is the powerplant. Ralph planned to fly his automotive v-8 direct drive into a five bladed fixed pitch hand made propeller, can you imagine the sound? The airplane is currently located in the Fox field airplane museum. (here)

    Do you have any more pictures?

    Elliot Seguin
    Race 68
    Last edited by laminar; 01-14-2010 at 09:37 AM.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2005
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    Fake Danish village of Solvang
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    Default Re: Ralph Wise unlimited - 1986

    Great stuff. Keep posting.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The Canadian Rockies
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    Default Re: Ralph Wise unlimited - 1986

    Some great history here on two little-known Unlimited projects and one very well known -- please keep posting, Dan. We're interested in anything you have!

    Thanks for the input Elliot. I've always admired Ralph, but don't know him. I envy you a bit for your chance to get to know some of the great Mojave and Southern California characters...

    You really can see a lot of Owl in Ralph's design!

    Neal

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ralph Wise unlimited - 1986

    Some friends and I went to the Fox Field museum a little over a year ago and I wondered what the story was on that airplane. It is a very slick looking airplane.I would be interesting to see it fly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Kellogg, Idaho
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    392

    Default Re: Ralph Wise unlimited - 1986

    The question that keeps coming to my mind is: Will we see all of the hard work that went into building these airplanes, like the RW 500, and the GP-5 that Dave Morss has flown, (and maybe a couple of others), be entered into the Super Sport class now that the rules have seen revision?

    I like the top five kitplane types we have seen so far, and the variety of mods among them, but the flavor of a few one-off home-grown speedsters with their ingenuity might make the class even a bit more exciting, and give us a taste of 1930's racing we all missed and have only read about.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Star, Idaho
    Posts
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    Default Re: Ralph Wise unlimited - 1986

    I found a couple more photos....

    Dan
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  9. #9
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    May 2007
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    Default Re: Ralph Wise unlimited - 1986

    Here is another plane Ralph had in his hanger at Camarillo.... Yak-11 with I think an R2000.

    Dan
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Default Re: Ralph Wise unlimited - 1986

    Now that one did have quite an extensive racing history...

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