Bohannon's Flyin' Tiger Reaches Higher

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Bruce Bohannon broke two of his own world records on the way up -- he hit 12,000 meters in 20 minutes, 36 seconds, to establish new time-to-climb standards in the Unlimited and C-1.b classes (the old record was 22:29), but the one he really wanted Saturday proved elusive once again, EAA reported on Monday. Bohannon has made several attempts to reach 50,000 feet in his modified RV-4, Exxon Flyin' Tiger. On Saturday, flying out of his home airport in Angleton, Texas, he flew the Tiger to its highest altitude yet -- 47,530 feet, about 1,800 feet shy of what's required to gain the all-time piston altitude record. "Everything went perfect," Bohannon said after the flight. "We flew right on the numbers." But the airplane wouldn't climb any higher. Having tweaked every bit of the engine already, Bohannon said the prop will be looked at next. "We're not giving up," Bohannon told EAA. "Everything worked as well as we had hoped. If this were easy, we'd have done it a long time ago. But it's so close now we can almost touch it."