This aircraft is on loan from Bruce Bohannon, a Texas-born aerobatic pilot, flight instructor, air racer and aviation record setter. Bohannon flew this highly modified RV-4 kit airplane to set thirty world records between 1999 and 2005. Named the Exxon Flyin’ Tiger and registered as a “Bohannon B-1,” the Tiger is an all-metal monoplane designed specifically for setting time-to-climb and altitude records. As of 2006, it is the fastest climbing piston-engine aircraft in the record book to 20,000, 30,000, and 40,000 feet and is the first homebuilt airplane ever to cruise above 40,000 feet.
Twelve of the Flyin’ Tiger’s records were set in the “Unlimited” category, which includes all piston engine aircraft, regardless of weight. Its most impressive climb records to date include the time to climb to 20,000 feet in 6 minutes, 16 seconds, time to 30,000 feet in 9 minutes, 43 seconds, and the time to 40,000 feet in 20 minutes, 24 seconds. As of February 2006, the Flyin’ Tiger has reached a maximum altitude of 47,530 feet.
The paint scheme was a collaboration between Bruce Bohannon and his sponsor, the Exxon Mobil Corporation. Teresa Stokes, an internationally acclaimed aviation artist and wingwalker, painted the nose art.
Photo Credit: EAA