Historic racing airplanes and replicas

By Don Berliner



Museum Collections – EAA

The world’s largest collection of historic racing airplanes is in the Experimental Aircraft Association Museum, Wittman Field, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Some were restored by the EAA shop, while others were donated while still in flying condition. The collection also includes accurate reproductions of the Laird "Super Solution" which was flown to 1st place in the 1931 Bendix Trophy Race by Jimmy Doolittle, and the Pobjoy Racer.

1929 – Church Midwing, #40, X9167. Powered by a converted Henderson motorcyCle engine, it weighs just 260 lbs. empty. It was raced at Cleveland, and restored by Gene Chase.

1932 – Art Chester "Jeep", #2, NR-12930. Designed and built by Art Chester. Powered by a 185 hp Menasco C4S engine. Raced from 1933 to 1937, with a best speed of 235 mph. After parts were used by Bill Falck in a Goodyear Racer, the remains were recently re-built into the original.

1934 – Wittman "Bonzo", #4, NR-13688. Designed and built by Steve Wittman, with a rare 475 hp Curtiss D-12 engine. Placed 2nd in the 1934 Thompson Trophy Race, 3rd in the 1938, and 5th in 1939.

1936 -- Keith Rider R-5 "Jackrabbit", #22, NX-264Y. Designed and built by Keith Rider. Raced from 1936 to 1938. Top finish was fourth in the 1938 Greve Trophy Race by Earl Ortman.

1938 – Crosby CR-4, #52, NX-92Y. Designed and built by Harry Crosby, and raced by him in 1938 and 1939. He placed 4th in the 1939 Thompson Trophy Race at 245 mph. It was long thought to be lost, but was discovered in the 1990’s in West Virginia. Restoration was completed by EAA.

1939 – Bugatti 100. Radical design intended for the Coupe Deutsch Race in France, but not completed in time. Sandwich airframe construction, aft-mounted Bugatti 50B racecar engine driving contra-props. Hidden through World War II and then imported to USA for its engine. Restored by EAA.

1939 – Falck Special. Never-completed 375 cu. in. class racer by Bill Falck, of Formula One fame in "Rivets". Used the power unit from the Chester Jeep, and a similar design for the wings.

1948 – Wittman "Bonzo", #1, N1292. Designed and built by Steve Wittman for midget racing. He flew it to 2nd and 3rd places in Goodyear Trophy Races, and victory in

the 1949 Continental Trophy Race at Miami. Raced in F/1until 1970, and then in the Lowers-Baker-Falck efficiency/speed competition.

1948 – Long "P-Shooter", #67, NX-5111N. Prototype of the all-metal homebuilt Midget Mustang sportplane, designed and built by Piper Chief Engineer Dave Long. Raced in the 1948 and 1949 Goodyear Races.

1968 – Jonathan Livingston Seagull, #76, N4821. Modified from a homebuilt design, it was one of the first of the true racing Sport Biplanes.

1970 – Warwick "Hot Canary", #97, N4777W. A novel design by Bill Warwick with reverse-staggered biplane wings for better visibility. Raced from 1970 to 1972.

. 1977 – Parker "American Special" , #3, N113JP. Designed and built by John Parker and raced from 1977 to 1980 in the International Formula Midgets class, which was more had looser rules than Formula One.

1989 – Miller "Pushy Galore", #89, N89BB. Built by Jim Miller for Bruce Bohannon, who raced it from 1989 to 1996, with a fastest race of 237 mph. He then competed in time-to-climb events.




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