Modified RV-4 Holds 30 World Records
After breaking an astounding 30 World Records, Bruce Bohannon's
Flyin' Tiger is retiring from service.
Christened "The Exxon Flyin' Tiger", the highly modified RV-4
was introduced at Sun 'n Fun in 1999, just five months after
Bohannon's six-time world record setter, Pushy Galore, was donated
to the EAA AirVenture Museum.
Exxon ended its sponsorship in 2006...
reportedly several years later than the oil company had
originally planned. Over seven years, Bohannon and The
Tiger set 17 performance World Records in its weight class (C-1.b).
It holds the Altitude in Horizontal Flight record at 46,919 feet,
the Absolute Altitude record at 47,067 feet and every Time to Climb
World Record in Class C-1.b. The Tiger went on to reach an
unofficial altitude of 47,530 feet. In addition, The Flyin' Tiger
also set an incredible 13 World Records in the Unlimited class
"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."
To date, no one has broken any record the Tiger set, Bohannon
For the Bohannons, retirement from the fast lane makes more room
for the sweet life. Bruce and his wife, Donah enjoy the fruits of
their labor on their 93 acre airport, "Flyin' Tiger Field," in
rural Southeast Texas. With two immaculate grass strips, hay
fields, a tree farm and acres of wooded trails, FTF is the
Bohannons' pride and joy.
After 30 years of high risk flying, Bohannon says 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
As for the future of The Flyin' Tiger, Bohannon says he will
continue to maintain and fly her. "Unlike Pushy Galore, this
aircraft is a great commuter. Cruising at 17,500 feet, The Tiger
burns just 12 GPH at 240 mph TAS. You just don't ignore a machine
like The Flyin' Tiger", he said.
"She's a piece of aviation history and I will do my best to take
care of her."