Air Race News
By Wayne Sagar
OK, I'll admit it, it's been very
difficult for me to write for several years now and I've
not produced much of late... But, sometimes, not "making
deadline" can be a good thing!
After speaking with several racers
late last year, who, it seemed, we were about to lose
from the sport, it suddenly became easy to begin to see
a bit of a bleak outlook. I started to write an article
on this subject in early March of this year. As
with other projects on the back burner, it was an
article that I could not bring myself to finish. Along
with a few others, which may never see the light of day,
I did manage to write the following paragraph for
the article... after a conversation with my friend, Bill
When I spoke with Furias
owner Bill Rogers at RENO 2006, his racing juices were
flowing and he was optimistic that he might return the
airplane to RENO for 2007. Then at the 2007 Arlington,
WA, EAA fly-in, Rogers was much less optimistic, and a
firmly spoken two words "we're done" pretty much
squashed any optimism that he might yet bring the
airplane back. In Air Racing, though, there is always
hope and after seeing pictures provided by Bill recently
of the airplane essentially back together again... I
again asked the question and received the same, firm
answer. "We're done".
I was outlining the article, Bill had sent me a couple
shots of the airplane, nearing completion after the
installation of a rear seat. I'd hoped against hope that
this was a positive sign and emailed him the question
once again... and received the "We're
done" answer written in the above
paragraph. well, I figured that pretty much put an end
to any hope we'd see the airplane at RENO, at least,
under the ownership of the great competitor Bill
But wait... there's more!
just got off the phone with Bill and, well.. I think the
old saying "never say never" might just apply... Though
Bill has made the decision that he can no longer support
a long term racing program for Furias and does have it
listed for sale, he is making both a "fun" decision and
a practical one, in that there is no better venue to
show a raceplane for sale than at RENO itself!
Though Bill tells me that he has yet to secure finances
and a pilot, he has the airplane on the entry list and
does intend to bring it to RENO to compete this year!
Rogers had initially felt that the
addition of a second seat to the airplane might make it
more attractive to potential sponsors... Somewhere
between the starting and finishing of that second seat
project, he had to take a serious look at his working
life, and with retirement looming on the horizon, the
extremely difficult decision to throw in the racing
towel and sell the airplane was made.
Now that the seat project is done,
and the airplane is Race Ready, I asked how it turned
out. Bill Rogers is a detail guy and as expected, the
second seat installation sounds like the bomb! Bill told
me that he sat in several of the current second seat
airplanes and found that the most comfortable seating
was that of the Sanders' Argonaut. However, Bill thought
the 12" canopy extension on the Sanders install was not
enough. "What we have is the Argonaut back seat with
Stewart Dawson's 18" canopy extension".
asked Bill if a pilot choice had been made and he said
he had a "list" and joked, "Pilot wanted, bring money"!
Will we see FURIAS turn the sticks?
Will Bill's friend Skip Holm fly her? If yes to either,
what does this bring to the mix for 2008?? Having two
"Buick" class airplanes flown by expert pilots in the
mix of the Gold field?
We'll leave the possibilities for you
to discuss! Meet us in the Hangar and tell us what you
Discuss this story at the HANGAR!