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Retirin’ Tiger

Bohannon shuts down record-setting homebuilt

Flying Tiger

December 4, 2008 — With 30 world altitude and time-to-climb records under its cowl, Bruce Bohannon’s Flyin’ Tiger is being retired from service. Builder and pilot Bohannon, EAA 169040, first introduced the highly modified RV-4 Exxon Flyin’ Tiger at the 1999 Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida. Five months earlier Bohannon had donated his other world record-setter, a Miller-Bohannon JM-2 named Pushy Galore, to EAA’s AirVenture Museum.

From 1999-2006, Bohannon and the Tiger set 17 performance world records in its weight class (C-1.b), including Altitude in Horizontal Flight (46,919 feet); Absolute Altitude (47,067 feet); and every Time to Climb world record in Class C-1.b. The Flyin’ Tiger also set an incredible 13 World Records in the Unlimited class (C-1).

“The greatest achievement isn’t the number of World Records she set,” Bohannon said. “It’s being the fastest climbing piston aircraft in history to 20,000…30,000…and 40,000 feet that makes The Flyin’ Tiger a true marvel.” Just as impressive, all those records remain unbroken.

After 30 years of high-risk flying, Bruce admits he’s had enough close calls and enjoys the slower pace. But he’s not giving up flying. “I’ve been teaching tail dragger and aerobatics for over 25 years and recently earned my CFI. I have a new Legend Cub and teach a course in engine failure, dead-stick procedures and do tail wheel checkouts.” Bruce’s first primary student just passed the Private Pilot check-ride in the Legend.

Bohannon says he will continue to maintain and fly the Tiger. “Unlike Pushy Galore, this aircraft is a great commuter,” he said. It cruises 240 mph TAS at 17,500 feet, sipping 12 gph. “She’s a piece of aviation history and I will do my best to take care of her.”

The Tiger’s Standing World Records

Class C.1b (Piston engine aircraft weighing 1,102—2,205 lbs)

  • Altitude- 47,067 feet (11-15-03, Angleton, TX)
  • Altitude in Horizontal Flight- 46,919 feet (11-15-03, Angleton, TX)
  • TTC (Time to Climb) 3,000 meters- 2 minutes, 20 seconds (7-31-99, Oshkosh, WI)
  • TTC 6,000 meters- 6 minutes, 16 seconds (4-17-04, Lakeland, FL)
  • TTC 9,000 meters- 9 minutes, 43 seconds (4-17-04, Lakeland, FL)
  • TTC to 12,000 meters- 20 minutes, 24 seconds (11-13-04, Angleton, TX)

Class C.1 Unlimited (Piston engine aircraft of any weight)

  • Altitude in Horizontal Flight- 46,919 feet (11-15-03, Angleton, TX)
  • TTC 6,000 meters- 6 minutes, 16 seconds (4-17-04, Lakeland, FL)
  • TTC 9,000 meters-9 minutes, 43 seconds (4-17-04, Lakeland, FL)
  • TTC to 12,000 meters- 20 minutes, 24 seconds (11-13-04, Angleton, TX)

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