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Reno Air Races 2006
InStead News On-Site Report
09-08-06

John Parker "We're NOT Done"

Click Image For Enlargemengt and CaptionWe read with some dismay, a post on the AAFO.COM Hangar Talk Message Board, a day or so ago, by an "unregistered" poster, that John Parker was pretty well DONE for 2006.

We took this early "report", as we do most "early arrival" reports from Reno... with a block of rock salt! Attempting to confirm, and with a couple of long ring calls to John Parker's line unanswered, it was decided to "just go" and ask the man face to face when we got there..

"What's going on?"

Well, the question we actually asked John this afternoon at the Reno Stead Airport was.. "John, good to see you! We read some rumors before we left that your engine went south and you were done"...

To say that our Mr. Parker's response was... understated would not truly describe John Parker's inimitable way of responding to this sort of question.. "We are NOT done" was the response of our favorite air race "curmudgeon" as he sat, sweating, in the cockpit of his Thunder Mustang in front of his American Air Racing hangar today at the Reno Stead Airport.

To clarify a bit here.. we (AAFO.COM) are listed as a "sponsor" of John Parker's American Air Racing effort. Accusation that some bias might be involved with this report, might well have some credence.. but what to hell, this is Air Racing after all!

That said..

We had just arrived at the Reno Stead Airport this Friday afternoon with a "quick photo mission" in mind, myself and my travel companion were tired after our 10 hour drive! Dutifully shooting away on the windy ramp, our mission was interrupted by a.. somewhat.. different sound emanating from in front of Parker's AAR hangar.

It's late, so let's just sum this report up with these few words and pictures...

We arrived at the Reno Stead Airport this afternoon, we observed an airplane in the process of doing a runup in front of the American Air Racing hangar. On closer inspection, we found John Parker running up the engine in his "Blue Thunder" Thunder Mustang 3/4 scale mustang replica.

The sound was, in a word, DEAFENING!

We asked Parker if the engine was, perhaps, a Supercharged version of the Ryan Falconer V-12 engine... his "thoughtful" response was...

"It's a work in progress"...

Fans, he's got SQUEEZE... He's got Spraybar water coming out the cooling doors.. It looks good, it sounds EVEN better...

Sport class has just gotten REAL interesting!

In other news from the ramp on Friday.. (see images below)...


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