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Flyer "22"...vets race for the 22 brothers lost to suicide every day

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Two vet non-profits, Racing4Vets SoCal and Warfighter Made, have partnered to campaign 2 vintage military Light Strike Vehicles (LSVs) in the 2017 Mexican 1000. Two "Flyer One" LSVs will run down the peninsula as a team for the 50th anniversary race...1967 to 2017. Before the holidays, a group of vets headed out to Flyer Defense's barren Barstow boneyard to pick up our project for the next 4 months...Flyer "22". Here are a couple pictures of her in the boneyard and in her new home, the Warfighter Made shop in Temecula CA. She has sat for at least 15 years since parked with a frozen diesel engine. We've got lots of work to do before the race but we've got a motivated team of brothers and sisters ready to restore and prep her for our 1400-mile journey. I'll keep you updated on our progress. We welcome any comments & support from our desert offroad familia.
 

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AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
For your enjoyment, here are the specifications from the original Operations and Maintenance (O&M) manual and an original picture of Flyer One in full military kit. We won't be restoring her to her full military glory with weapons system and camoflauge paint...at least not for the Mexican 1000.

RACECO/FLYER ONE Light Strike Vehicle (LSV)

Flyer One was designed and built from 1992-1997 by Raceco International (Flyer Group) as a unique vehicle offering unparalleled speed and cross-country capability. Flyer One used Baja-proven race technology for off road performance and featured a low profile and tank-like mobility for deep reconnaissance and strike missions without detection. Flyer One carries 4 crew members with an integral weapons system including a HMG, AGL, or ATGM. Flyer One is 80” wide and weighs 2900 lbs with a maximum payload of 1 ton.
Flyer One is powered by a 2.0L Peugeot diesel engine rated at 110 HP with a Raceco 3-speed manually-shift automatic transmission for a top speed of 66 MPH. Flyer One featured a 112” wheelbase and 4-wheel independent suspension for agility and used a torsion bar/trailing arm suspension in the rear and A-arm in the front. Over 200 Flyer One vehicles were built in the USA, Australia, and Singapore, primarily for overseas use.
Flyer One greece.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Before we began work on Flyer "22", we needed to find spares for the rebuild. Flyer Defense also donated the hulk of a newer vehicle call "Flyer 21" which we have cannibalized. Here are both Flyers on the trailer in the boneyard. "Flyer 21" was a later version of "Flyer One" from the late 90's to fit onboard aircraft like the V22 Osprey. She was narrower and longer with a collapsible upper cage. The drivetrain, suspension, and other components are the same.
Flyer 22 on the trailer.jpg

We now have a few pallets of spares including a low-mileage diesel engine and transaxle AKA the "power pack". The Flyer 21 frame is out of the shop and we are ready to begin our rebuild!
Power pack.jpg Other stuff.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Warfighter Made hosted their 2nd annual open house at the shop in Temecula CA on Saturday. Flyers ONE and 22 were there to represent our "ONE for 22" effort for next year's 50th anniversary of the Mexican 1000. Some of our combined Racing4Vets SoCal and Warfighter Made veteran race crew gathered for a group photo. Flyer One is looking good in the fore and 22 is behind us on the lift, ready to start restoration!
Flyers 1 & 22 and crew.jpg
 
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Wendell #527

Well-Known Member
As cool as it can get. I lost a good friend who was a vet to suicide this year. You couldn't have picked a more appropriate vehicle to restore. Kudos!
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Warfighter Made and Racing4Vets SoCal are looking forward to a great new year! We spent the holiday season stripping down Flyer 22 and developing our punchlist for restoration and prep. We have a few key decisions to make regarding use of original parts versus new but we are confident that we will be ready for the Mexican 1000 in just under 4 months. Here is a picture of Flyer 22 with body panels and skid plates removed, cleaned of a decade of grime, and ready for restoration...
F22 stripped down.JPG
F22 skids.JPG F22 fenders.JPG F22 panels.JPG
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
We had a busy week in the Warfighter Made shop last week. The "powerpack" is out along with associated water, fuel, oil, and air systems. The "powerpack" consists of the Peugeot diesel bolted and aligned on the bell housing with the torque converter/transaxle/transfer case/automatic transmission. We knew the motor was frozen when parked 20 years ago in the desert when we went into this rebuild. We found lots of damage and age-deteriation to the transaxle assembly like rusted housing & converter and worn splines on shaft. The Audi 3-speed transmission and 4x4 transfer case look okay on the outside. The good news is that this is a Jeff Field-built RACECO transaxle assembly and Jeff is still building them today at Transaxle Engineering. We taking a trip to see Jeff this week for a complete rebuild. Flyer 22 must be solid for her 1400-mile run down the Baja peninsula for the 50th Mexican 1000. We have a second powerpack from the boneyard that we hope will provide some good parts.
Flyer 22 no powerpack.jpg
. Powerpack out.jpg Torque converter.jpg Shaft from transaxle.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
It looks like our Flyer "22" buggy is too short. (...or some of our vets are too tall!) We decided to rebuild the upper cage to better fit our vets and to make is safer. We'll add gussetting and crossmembers in the rebuild. Here are a few pictures of our vets in action in the shop with their cutting tools. We will remain true to the original lines and panels on Flyer "22".
Vet too tall.jpg Vets cutting roof.jpg Vets removing roof.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
We continue to strip down Flyer "22" and removed the diesel fuel system. Flyer "22" was a prototype so was developed with a two-fuel tank system which was replaced by a single 20 gal tank in later versions. The tanks site below the driver/co-driver under a diamond-plate floor panel bolted to structural tubing. The fuel pump and filters sit center-line under the floor panels heading aft to the Peugeot diesel motor. Foam was still good in the tanks but will definitely be replaced. For the 50th Mexican 1000, we're debating whether to use these or install a new fuel cell in place of the rear passenger seats. We think it will be safer and give us a better ride in this buggy-style vehicle. We intend to restore it to the original 4-passenger configuration after the race so will use these two tanks eventually.
Dual tanks.JPG Fuel pump filter.JPG Danny out.jpg Tank open.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Just got a few pictures of the removal of the powerpack over the holidays. We followed the manual which had us remove the combined motor and transaxle assembly as a unit. We used a forklift for the heavy lifting. Powerpack disconnect.jpg Powerpack lift.jpg Powerpack out 1.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
We took a break from Flyer 22 to finish a Tacoma build for a motorcross vet. We're back and making good progress.

The upper cage has been installed! We now have a safe rally-ready cage AND an extra 4" of headroom.

Pictures show Marine Corps vets, Danny and Narayana, hard at work fitting and welding assisted by our in-house expert, Adam. We provided material and Creo Industries designed, cut, bent, and notched the tubing for us. We also had an assist from Dave at Terra Dynamics with setup and welding.
Danny working.jpg new roof.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
We had a slow spell with Flyer 22 while we gathered parts and finished adaptive mods to a Tacoma for a vet brother who rides motocross. We're hitting it hard! Fun pics to share today. We installed our PRP seats. Note the embroidered Warfighter Made logo and especially our "1 for 22" motto. We are racing for each other...we are ONE for 22!
1 for 22 seats.jpg 1 for 22 closeup.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
We've been waiting for new parts and rebuilt components so we took the opportunity to finish gusseting and painting the entire cage. Flyer 22 is looking clean! Our goal this coming week is to have her rolling on all 4 corners with the "power pack" and drive train installed.
22 cage.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Trailing arms are back on Flyer "22". We cannibalized a newer Flyer ITV for these 3x5 VW-style trailing arms. It turns out that Flyer 22 was over-built and too heavy for the government contract so later models were built to be much lighter. We went with lighter arms from the newer LSV in the Barstow boneyard to standardize with Flyer "1". The micro hubs are from the 1999 Chevy Silverado with the 6x5.5 bolt pattern. This is different than the original 8 lug HMMWV bolt pattern but standard for production for Flyer "1".
Prepping arms 1.jpg 22 trailing arms.jpg
 

scary fast hummer

Well-Known Member
Cool!
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Steering gear has been rehabbed and is reinstalled. We replaced all heim joints and used steel rods instead of aluminum. The production versions of the Flyer One LSV buggy used aluminum rods to save weight to meet military specs. (We broke the aluminum drag link in last year's Mexican 1000 in Flyer "1" so we wanted to make this bullet-proof.) We reinstalled the Saginaw steering box which a Tommy Lee-prepped NASCAR box. We still need to replumb the power steering lines but we'll be wiring and plumbing in a couple weeks once major components are installed. Here is a pic of the front end and our ace installer, John M., USMC veteran.
Steering gear.jpg John at table.jpg
 

Zambo

Well-Known Member
Awesome stuff Admiral. Looking forward to seeing all those guys in Baja.
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Since we are campaigning 2 vintage military vehicles in the 50th anniversary Mexican 1000 as Flyers "1" and "22", I thought it would be fun to provide a short history of four generations of Flyer military buggies. I compiled this and much more through web searches, magazine references, museum visits, and personal interviews. I provided a couple paragraphs and my favorite picture of each Flyer vehicle. The Flyer One Light Strike Vehicle (LSV) that we are rebuilding is the “grandmother” of the Advance Light Strike Vehicle (ALSV) just select to be the go-to vehicle for US Special Operations Command to replace the SOCOM HMMWV-variant.

RACECO R-1 Rescue All Terrain Transport (RATT)

The RATT is a high-mobility vehicle used by Air Force special operations to transport and treat casualties in the field, for airfield seizures and as a field utility vehicle. In the late 1980s, Air Force special tactics units needed an agile rescue and casualty evacuation vehicle to replace the Jeeps then in use. Raceco, an off-road racing vehicle manufacturer, built the prototype in 1991. The RATT can carry up to six ambulatory patients on litters and two medical personnel (usually Pararescuemen or PJ’s). It is equipped with two 24-volt batteries to provide power for medical equipment and floodlights at each patient station. Between 1992-1994, Raceco built 14 RATTs.

The RATT has many features to maximize its utility and mobility. It has an "instant kill" switch that turns off all the white lights, and it has infrared headlights to travel at night. The overall structure of the RATT is light but strong. Its 110-hp Porsche engine is air-cooled, thereby eliminating the weight of the radiator and cooling fluid used in a water-cooled engine. The RATT can be transported in a C-130 aircraft and in some helicopters. Primary Source - Air Force Museum

RATT.jpg

RACECO/FLYER ONE Light Strike Vehicle (LSV)

Flyer One was designed and built from 1992-1997 by Flyer Group/Raceco International as a unique vehicle offering unparalleled speed and cross-country capability. Flyer One used Baja-proven race technology for off road performance and featured a low profile and tank-like mobility for deep reconnaissance and strike missions without detection. Flyer One carries 4 crew members with an integral weapons system including a HMG, AGL, or ATGM. Flyer One is 80” wide and weighs 2900 lbs with a maximum payload of 1 ton.

Flyer One is powered by a 2.0L Peugeot diesel engine rated at 110 HP with a Raceco 3-speed manually-shift automatic transmission for a top speed of 66 MPH. Flyer One featured a 112” wheelbase and 4-wheel independent suspension for agility and used a torsion bar/trailing arm suspension in the rear and A-arm in the front. Approximately 200 Flyer One vehicles were built in the USA, Australia, and Singapore, primarily for overseas use. Primary Source - Flyer O&M manuals

FLYER ONE 22.jpg

FLYER 21 Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV)

The Flyer 21 vehicle evolved from Flyer One as a mature, adaptable, and highly mobile Light Strike Vehicle (LSV) capable of handling every direct fire weapons system used by infantry from the M2 50 CAL HMG to the Mk19 40mm AGL. Flyer 21 was designed to be a multi-mission with a wide variety of roles including command & control, assault, reconnaissance, resupply, and medical evacuation. Flyer 21 was designed to be reliable yet small enough to be transported internally by the US military’s newest then experimental aircraft, the V-22 Osprey.

Flyer 21 has two variants, a light tactical vehicle at 6 ½’ wide and a light strike vehicle at 5 ¼’ wide. Flyer 21 vehicles were both externally and internally transportable and were designed to be stacked and even driven while stacked to increase their portability. Flyer 21 is powered by a 2.5L 115 HP Detroit Diesel engine with a 3-speed manually-shifted automatic transmission and lockable hubs for part-time 4WD. The 20 gal fuel tank allows a range of 325 miles. Six were built by Flyer Defense for the US Marine Corps for test and evaluation in 1997-99. Primary Source - Leatherneck magazine

FLYER ITV.jpg

FLYER-72 Advanced Light Strike Vehicle (ALSV)

The Flyer-72 vehicle is built by Flyer Defense/General Dynamics and was recently selected by the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) for their fleet of Ground Mobility Vehicles 1.1 (GMV 1.1). Flyer-72 is 72” wide and is capable of internal transport in the CH-47 and C-130 aircraft. The Flyer’s modular approach provides the warfighter with a rapid mission reconfiguration capability. The vehicle can quickly be reconfigure in the field, to perform multiple missions such as light strike assault, rescue and evacuation, command and control, and reconnaissance, either armored or unarmored. As a lightweight, reliable and high performance vehicle, the Flyer-72 offers safe and fast operating speeds with superior levels of off-road, cross-country mobility and maneuverability in all weather conditions.

Flyer-72 has a payload capacity over 5,000 pounds and can be configured to crew sizes up to nine. The Flyer-60 was developed to fill operational gaps in fixed and rotary wing ground mobility deployment. It is 60” wide with a payload capacity of up to 3,500 pounds and meets all internal transport requirements for the V-22 Osprey. Flyer-72 has a state of the art diesel 1.9L 150 HP six-speed power train with a low fuel consumption rate of 24 mpg when traveling at 40mph. Both vehicles maximize the use of HWMVV parts such as: differentials, steering rod ends, tie down rings, light system, alternator, batteries, suspension ball joints, air compressor and tires. Primary Source - IHS Jane’s Defense News

Flyer 72.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
As the prototype, Flyer "22" was built with heavy-duty components. Production Flyer One's were hundreds of pounds lighter. For example, Flyer "1" has thin aluminum body panels. We are repainting the diamond-plate aluminum panels on "22" with coyote brown. Very cool!
Front panels in coyote.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Why is it that things never fit together right the first time? We replaced the original heavy duty A-arms with A-arms from the cannibalized Flyer 21 Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV). The Flyer "22" arms were damaged from a hard hit. The new A-arms fit perfectly except when we cycled the suspension and the arm hit a frame riser. We made a jig and modified the A-arm and we now have full travel. All good!
a arm mods.jpg
 
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