...Bohannon Chases A B-29 Record In An RV-4...

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What does a (modified) RV-4 have in common with a B-29? If Bruce Bohannon has his way, they'll both have held the record for the highest altitude reached by a piston-powered aircraft. Bohannon and his Exxon Flyin' Tiger are headed for 50,000 feet at this year's show, trying to beat the 47,910 feet hit by U.S. Air Force Maj. Finley F. Ross in the pressurized comfort of a B-29 in 1946. Bohannon will face the bone-numbing cold and engine-threatening thin air with a leather jacket, a pair of jeans and an hour or so of pre-breathing on pure oxygen (to flush the nitrogen from his body and prevent the bends). He'll leave Wittman Regional Airport at noon on July 30. Now, they may not be as spectacular as Bohannon's exploits, but AirVenture is a magnet for those who have something to show off. We haven't kept specific track of them, but there's always a contingent of round-the-world (east-west, north-south) pilots, good causes and fundraisers. Actor Morgan Freeman will be there to support the King Air world flight for charity and Jamail Larkins, a 19-year-old pilot, AVweb contributor and spokesman for EAA's Vision of Eagles to inspire youth about aviation, will be at the AVweb booth July 28 at 2 p.m.