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Darryl Greenamyer RIP

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Old 3rd Oct 2018, 08:12
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Darryl Greenamyer RIP

Sad to see that Darryl Greenamyer has died aged 82.

Quite a character: SR-71 test pilot, record setter in Bearcat Conquest 1 and a F-104 built up from spare and scrap parts, seven times winner of the Unlimited class at Reno in Conquest 1 and the Red Baron Mustang, plus the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to fly the B-29 Kee Bird back to the US from the snowy wastes of Greenland where it had force landed nearly 40 years earlier.
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Old 4th Oct 2018, 06:40
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Darryl "driving" his Bearcat at Reno in 1975.


RIP
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 23:32
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Darryl and I were classmates and friends at Monrovia (California) High School. My career as an airline pilot was quite boring when compared to the aviation adventures Darryl experienced. I only saw him once after high school although I had two mutual friends who saw a lot of him at Reno over the years.

I knew his family, too. Mom and dad were both great. Dad was the motivating genius behind Darryl. Darryl's sister was a great lady.
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 04:16
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Man, I am disappointed this thread isn't bigger.
Hold my beer.........................be right back.

Racing at reno and winning.



He also raced dragsters.



His day job at one time.



Fastest plane at sea level.



More winning



Yet even more race winning.



Unfinished business.

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Old 20th Oct 2018, 13:34
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He didn't exactly show much "winning" ability with the KeeBird atocity though, did he? A more desperate, gash, dangerous cowboy farce would be hard to imagine which always surprised me given some of the other amazing things he achieved.
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 16:41
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If you've never ridden in the back of a long school bus driven over speed bumps, you would likely have never experienced the dynamic that caused the fire. Not may people have felt that kind of thing in a vehicle and I doubt anybody realized how the long "arm" would have caused that apu/heater to be tossed such that it leaked and caught fire.

How would you have done with the Kee Bird?
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 21:30
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
.... with the KeeBird atocity though, did he? .
I give up, what's an 'atocity' ?
A city where people prone to overdramification live, perhaps?
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 22:18
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Great pics Icepaq, thanks! I'd forgotten about Shockwave, I assume it's a moribund project now. As I recall, the tail is F-86, the wings Sea Fury outer panels and the gear AD-4? With an R-2800 or R-3350? Or something like that...

He had a shot at Kee Bird, it didn't pay off which was very sad... as he said, they were so close. I expect others might have had a go later had he not tried but I imagine the airframe may have deteriorated beyond a flight out at some point.
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 15:47
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
He didn't exactly show much "winning" ability with the KeeBird atocity though, did he? A more desperate, gash, dangerous cowboy farce would be hard to imagine which always surprised me given some of the other amazing things he achieved.
I thought the attempt was brilliant and heroic inevitably improvisational and dangerous but never cowboy ....the film deserved release in the cinemas .
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Old 30th Oct 2018, 19:30
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I was recently given the news about Darryl's death. I too am surprised that the number of postings here is so sparse. Thank you IcePaq for putting up the pictures that can only be a brief summary of a long and complicated life in aviation. Its a pity that the B29 episode so dominates Darryl's story, though of course it was the most public. Its true Darryl said that he was so close, but the B29 was never going to be close enough. You had to be there to know how fearsome the cold was, how terrifying the storms were and how lonely and remote the location. I was with Darryl at the Reno races following the final fire of the B29, sitting on the roof of his small motorhome in the pits, when he was told that the expected funding for Shockwave was not going to be forthcoming. The composure with which Darryl met this news reminded me of Kiplings lines, "if you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat these two imposters just the same....".
Shockwave would have revitalised Reno, and its absence shows even now. However Darryl did come back from what many thought was an inevitable wilderness, to race very successfully with a Lancair team. I had a lot of disagreements with Darryl, but I always respected him, he was a man of great determination and courage, and many amazing stories of the less public parts of aviation history have died with him.
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Old 31st Oct 2018, 01:36
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He sure as hell didn't impress me or the hugely experienced bush engineer with whom I watched the Keebird disaster video.
The utter, shameful cowboyism and blatantly dangerous practices (shonky engineering practices/conditions & dangerously overloaded Caribous etc) ultimately led to the loss of an irreplaceable historic airframe through sheer, gash incompetence. That is simply inexcusable. Jury-rigged fuel tank and put-put left running? Come on - be serious! That's waaaay beyond any excuse.
He certainly did some amazing things on the various speed circuits but it all went tits -up in Greenland due to sheer cowboyism.
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Old 31st Oct 2018, 12:56
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Well I am not sure just what use this "historic irreplaceable airframe" would have been stuck up in Greenland to be colonised by the ducks, slowly falling apart. It had been found and ignored for years.
Apart from not trying, what would you have done?
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Old 31st Oct 2018, 13:46
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Since Kee Bird's demise at least one more B-29 has been recovered from China Lake and restored to fly and I think parts of at least one further B-29/B-50 airframe survives there which could make up a static exhibit if the will and money is available. Kermit's got several B-29s stored at Borrego Springs as well - certainly two complete dismantled airframes plus parts of a third - so it appears from Google Maps...
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 04:13
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For those of you in Southern California, Darryl's funeral service will be November 9th at 11:30am at Sacred Heart Church at Deep Canyon Road and Fred Waring Drive in Palm Desert. As someone else said on the forum, Darryl should be racing the angles by now.
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Old 4th Nov 2018, 07:07
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Darryl should be racing the angles by now
That'll make for some (s)harp turns then!
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 06:36
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Treadigraph, thanks for the cute pun "(s)harp" . I guess it reads better with angel, not angle.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 06:39
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Darryl was looking for a good home for Shock Wave at a nominal price and what a great way to get flying at 600 MPH. If interested email me at [email protected]
Dick Welsh
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 00:35
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Desert Flyer, will hopefully will raise a glass later today to one of aviation's great characters!
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 13:10
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I never knew about the Shockwave project, but I found some more information in this e-newsletter: BARNSTORMERS.COM eFLYER - July 2007

Looks like it will (could) be a minimal fuselage behind an R-4360. Pete Law explains some bits in this video from 2009:
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