Rare Bear Naked!

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by FLYBOYJ, Jun 21, 2015.

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  1. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I've seen it that way maybe a dozen times, but it never gets old. Thanks for the pics, Joe.

    I have similar pics of Voodoo but have been asked by Stevo and company not to post unless all sheet metal is attached. They have no issues at all if all the panels are on, but not everyone will show you the insides willingly. Last time I was close to Rare Bear, the fit and finish was excellent. But the real speed secret was the R-3350, which is conspicuously missing. I don't believe a Skyraider ever waent as fast as Rare Bear's prop has gone.

    I have heard 540 mph in a straight line, but the wing is somewhat low in aspect ratio to turn well at Reno, or at least that is my supposition.

    I don't suppose the Shockwave airframe was sitting in same the hangar, was it? If you have a pic, that would be cool. Last time I saw it was 2011.

    The race is coming up faster than we think.

    I hear Strega, Voodoo, and Rare Bear will ALL be ready and rarin' to go. Hopefully no blown engines this year. A complete race where everyone is running well would be great!
     
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  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Love the pics!
     
  4. grampi

    grampi Member

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    Greg, I doubt Rare Bear is capable of 540 MPH in it's current form...it may have been capable of that speed at one time, but I don't believe it's as fast now as it once was...if it will ever get back to that state we'll just have to wait and see...it sure is a beautiful machine though!
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    No aircraft is flying 540 mph at Reno, there is a speed restriction of 515 mph (course time 56.63). AFAIK this will once again be fully enforced in September.
     
  6. grampi

    grampi Member

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    I don't think RB can do 540 no matter where it's flying...it simply isn't as fast today as it was in years past...will it ever get back to being that fast again? Only time will tell. I do think there are some P-51s that are that fast though...Voodoo and Strega will likely do it, and Dago Red when it was in racing form would've certainly gone that fast, and probably faster...unfortunately, it's no longer flying...
     
  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #7 GregP, Jun 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
    I heard 540 mph in a straight line at air speed record altitude, not around a closed course at Reno. It currently holds the straight-line world speed record for piston engine, propeller-driven aircraft at 529 mph and change, so 540 isn't all that big a stretch in my mind. It certainly looks cleaner and smoother than when it set the 529 record.

    I think if CAN do 540 mph. The real question is whether or not anyone will pay the requisite amount of money and take the chance of a blown engine to find out. If Rod Lewis wants the record, he can probably get it. If he doesn't want to spend that amount of money money (no comment from me one way or the other), at least we get to see RB race at Reno a bit more. It certainly is an impressive beast.
     
  8. grampi

    grampi Member

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    RB WAS capable of these speeds...it isn't today...if it was it would still be winning at Reno every year (as long as it remained healthy, of course). They don't have the HP they once had and they are still looking for ways to get it back...
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I was told by folks at Stead that "they" are throwing $1 mil at Read Bear this year. Didn't give specifics...
     
  10. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    Nice rare bare pic's of Rare Bear :) *D'oh it rhymes - faceplams I'll get my coat...*
    Good luck to all the Heavy Iron all classes of Teams/Crews/Ranches/Whatever-They-Like-To-Be-Called this year :p
     
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  11. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #11 GregP, Jun 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
    Where did you ever get the idea that Rare Bear isn't capable of those speeds today? It is, in spades.

    From what I understand, Rod Lewis doesn't want the team to run Nitrous Oxide at Reno. But the system is still installed and all they'd have to do is fill it up and use it to go as fast or faster than the Bear ever went.

    They may not use Nitrous at Reno anymore these days but, if they ever decide to go for another world speed record attempt, they'd HAVE to in order to get it. It gives them another 400+ HP and that's what you need for a new record.

    I do not claim to know if a new record is in anybody's mind at this time, nor would I care to speculate.

    All the front 3 - 4 Gold planes will probably pass 500 mph in a straight line at optimum altitude. We KNOW Strega, Voodo, and Rare Bear certainly can do it. If they ever get Dago Red running again, we know it can, too ... unless they return it to stock configuration ... don't know the status on Red at all. I think Czech Mate could push up close to that or more in a straight line.
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    It ain't doing it the way it sits now! :D
     
  13. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #13 GregP, Jun 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
    No, but it's only a Nitrous shot away ...

    In don't think the Bear could lead the first 2 - 4 laps if either Voodoo or Strega are healthy, but the Bear can run 490 mph all day and the Merlins get heat soaked and HAVE to slow down before the end of the race. Rare Bear, in better days, would spend the first 2 - 3 laps just getting everything in the green and THEN would step up the power just when the Merlins had to slow down.

    That's how they won so many Championships. By running the last few laps at the highest power levels while the Merlins were going slower to avoid blowing up.

    Can't say who would win if John Penny were still flying it, but the capability has been and stil is there, should they choose to use it.

    I don't know Rod Lewis other tha having been introduced and can't say what he is thinking but, if I had Rare Bear and were spending money on it anyway, I'd just as soon win as not. Might was well use Nirtous when it can make the difference. If you are losing, you should find a way to clean it up and go faster or use the go-juice ... or be content to soldier around in 3rd - 4th place. Being content with 4th doesn't sound like a Rod Lewis characteristic to me. He ight have the team on a budget and be happy with whatver the budget will bring, I can't even guess.

    Realisitically, if they don't use Nitrous, then either Voodoo or Strega should win if they don't break. But with Nitrous, the outcome is in some doubt if you look at the last 3 - 4 lap speeds over the last few years. Rare Bear can average more than the last few winning speeds if it is healthy and able to run at the top speed of which it is capable.

    That is NOT to say that Strega and / or Voodoo can't do better ... I just want to see a race where the top three don't break and mayday down.

    Again, thanks for the great pics!
     
  14. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Cracking shots Joe!
     
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  15. grampi

    grampi Member

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    You keep saying the Merlins get heat soaked and can't run as fast when they do, but I have seen in-cockpit videos that show otherwise...it shows them running the same power settings and the same speeds the entire race...another thing I've seen in the past is Rare Bear will jump out to a lead early in races, only to be overtaken later on in the race by planes like Strega and Dago Red...I don't think your heat soaked theory holds water...
     
  16. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #16 GregP, Jun 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
    Hi Grampi,

    In 2008 Tiger Destefani averaged 483 mph. In 2009 Stevo averaged 491.8 mph. In 2010 Stevo won on his qualifying speed due to weather and that doesn’t matter. In 2012 Stevo averaged 482 mph. Ion 2013 Stevo averaged 482 mph. In 2014 Stevo averaged 462.9 mph.

    Since I was there for most of them, I can tell you that Stevo turned 495 mph+ up to 512 mph+ laps at many of those races. He then throttled back a step at a time, every coupe of laps or so, and his official race lap times show it. It takes a bit of digging, but the data are there. You can verify it for yourself here: Reno Championship Air Races |

    I have had more than 4 Unlimited Gold air race pilots tell me Merlins get heat soaked and have to slow down along with three or four of the Gold crew chiefs.

    The last guy who tried to push his Merlin really hard late in the race was Tiger Destefani when he blew it up at the finish line in the closest heat race in Unlimited Gold I have ever seen. Turned out it wasn’t really all that close since Tiger was disqualified for flying too high by the race committee.

    I've seen that Voodoo video, too, but the official race lap times don't quie reflect the video. I have wondered about it myself. It's like winning a drag race with a slower ET than your competitor at a drag strip ... strange but it happens.
     
  17. grampi

    grampi Member

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    That wouldn't have been the Gold race in '99, would it? Sounds like that race...I was there...Tiger was in the lead and trying to stay there, but Dago was pressing hard, and then Tiger's motor popped on the last lap and Dago ended up winning...I didn't hear about the DQ though...if we're talking about the same race here...
     
  18. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #18 GregP, Jun 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
    Actually, I was thinking of last year when Strega and Voodoo had almost a dead heat in the last heat race. Tiger blew the engine but aparently actually passed Stevo by some 2 feet at the finish line before he was disqualified for flying too high. On the last lap he was quite high and traded altitude for speed in a dive to the finish.

    I know they are working on Dago Red, but I have heard they are returning it to stock configuration. If that is true (and I don't know) then SOMEBODY wants the old Mouse Motor that came out of it. It sure was fast when Dago Red was racing.
     
  19. grampi

    grampi Member

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    Though I have never heard about the heat soaked issue with the Merlins before, it wouldn't surprise me...they are pushing much higher HP per cubic numbers than the big radials are, which means the engine is under much more stress as well...
     
  20. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I doupt you're going to see very many 500 mph + speeds in any class (only the jets and unlimiteds could do this at this time.) The course has been made shorter since the 2013 crash and as stated there is actually a "speed limit" for the jets and unlimiteds. Prior to 2013 we had jets that were hitting 540 mph.

    Just some thoughts - during the course of the race you could only "throttle back" so much. Seconds and a few miles per hour are huge during the races. During the races I perch myself at a certain spot and track my plane's time and I could tell you, that you need a lot of "smash" to pass on the outside at full speed. For the most part once you get the jump out of the chute and get out front, if you could maintain power and fly a good line, you're going to win. Additionally the wake from lead planes will slow down trailers and may take several seconds off their times.

    The last thing to consider is wind conditions. This year at PRS we had one afternoon where the winds were 20 G35. I saw some guys run slow and yet others seem to pick up a second or two.

    To give you some idea of course times and speeds I've downloaded a chart we use to figure out speeds. Although the document says "jets", I'm pretty certain the same math is used in the unlimiteds. speeds.jpg
     
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