Quantcast

Darryl Greenamyer

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

plncraze

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,921
Avweb reported the death earlier today. If there was anybody worthy of a good biography it is this person. SR-71, Conquest, speed records, salvaging aircraft or his efforts in the Sport Racing class he was interesting. Stories anyone?
 

Dana

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
Messages
9,446
Location
CT, USA
What can you say about a guy who builds an F-104 Starfighter from scrap parts and registers it as a homeubilt?
 

rv6ejguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
3,914
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Sad day indeed. Nobody has done all that he has done in air racing and with speed records. Amazing and very smart guy. I met him once at Reno and saw him race in Sport Class many times. He held the world wiston record for quite a while and then the jet low altitude record too. He re-invigorated Sport Class with his Lancair and moved the bar upwards rapidly.
 

plncraze

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,921
What surprised me about Greenamyer was how the stuff that he did publicly or was written about was the tip of the iceberg. I hope somebody writes a good article about him. Mike Dillon wrote one a long time ago and "Hunting Warbirds" covered a lot but there is a heck of a lot more.
 

bmcj

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
13,538
Location
Fresno, California
Sad news. I knew him casually, mostly because I was friends with his partner in their Bearcat. He was a neat guy to talk to.
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
8,048
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
Not to speak ill of the departed, but there is another part of his story that should not be whitewashed. The failed recovery effort that he made on the B-29 in Greenland was done poorly and set back the "Warbird recovery" movement significantly. What I heard was that they left such a mess, after promising to not make a mess, that the Greenland (Danish) government is not interested in allowing any similar recovery efforts.
 

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
11,991
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
Not to speak ill of the departed, but there is another part of his story that should not be whitewashed. The failed recovery effort that he made on the B-29 in Greenland was done poorly and set back the "Warbird recovery" movement significantly. What I heard was that they left such a mess, after promising to not make a mess, that the Greenland (Danish) government is not interested in allowing any similar recovery efforts.
I watched the TV documentary about that effort many years ago. I wasn’t aware of the failed outcome before seeing it in the documentary. All they could do was sit and watch it burn. That was a horrible experience to see; it must have been a completely miserable experience for the crew.


BJC
 

rv6ejguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
3,914
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
This was a very unfortunate and preventable accident ending an amazing plan to fly the B29 out. They were so close. Must have been devastating. They were out of time and money, rushing things along. You gotta keep your promises though...

reno9.jpg

Here's a photo of DG (between prop blades) with his geared Conti Lancair at Reno. 2008 I believe.
 

plncraze

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,921
He had a few catastrophic failures with those geared engines if I remember correctly.
 

rv6ejguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
3,914
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
He had a few catastrophic failures with those geared engines if I remember correctly.
Yes, 2007, they had a planetary drive welded on to a std case and that was a disaster. 2008 went with a actual geared engine from a 421 I think but they burned many pistons and replaced a bunch of jugs that weekend. Once the hp goes above 5-600 or so, the factory mechanical FI is outside its design parameters as it does not meter consistently. The two fastest Contis run our EFI- both winning Gold in the process. DG's pilot asked about our EFI back then but their crew chief was not interested after trying another brand of EFI in testing with poor results. We went on to win with EFI in 2010 and 2018 and DG's plane went on to burn more pistons and never really went fast again after his many early successes which was a shame.

The geared engine was a great idea as you can make a lot more power and keep the prop efficient too. They just never got to show the speed potential due to the fuel system they were using. Lots of other Contis burned pistons too because they never saw the light. Props to DG to at least try the idea while all the other folks were still using DD engines (except the Thunder Mustang).
 

plncraze

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,921
I sent an email to Linda Shiner who wrote a short piece on Greenamyer for Air&Space. She said that the two of them were going to get together for a more in depth interview but then he died. She expressed the same feelings that I had upon that news: Oh what could have been...
 

Autodidact

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2009
Messages
4,513
Location
Oklahoma
I'm a fan of DG, so take it for what it's worth. Everybody has failures; how would anyone else have performed tramping around on a glacier in Greenland with limited resources? And there may have been a judgement call in play; if they didn't get it out then, would it have ever been gotten out? Maybe, who knows. No one's perfect, but Greenamyer was great.
 

VP1

Todd C.
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
251
Location
San Diego, CA
I'm a fan of DG, so take it for what it's worth. Everybody has failures; how would anyone else have performed tramping around on a glacier in Greenland with limited resources? And there may have been a judgement call in play; if they didn't get it out then, would it have ever been gotten out? Maybe, who knows. No one's perfect, but Greenamyer was great.
Darryl was an aviation legend right up there with the best. I'm feel lucky to have seen him race at Reno
 

plncraze

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,921
Mr. Greenamyer did a lot with so little. According to "Hunting Warbirds" he leveraged Bearcat sponsor ship to get F-104 wiring, convinced some doctors to buy the Bearcat initially so he could increase its value by setting some records, rounded up some Lockheed guys to help him without excessive costs and these are just the stories in writing. While calling him an "average guy" might be considered an insult but in terms of personal finances that is probably an accurate description at least in his early days.

The folks who watch such things believe that the "Spirit of St. Louis" is the most popular exhibit in NASM because it represents one of the few times in aviation history that a person of average means has done something big. I would love to see Greenamyer's story told for the same reason.
 
Top