johnbr

bugatti-110p-side-at-eaa

Bugatti’s contract included a bonus if the 100P racer captured the world speed record which the Germans had raised to 463.919 mph (746.606 km/h) with a Heinkel He 100 (V8) on March 30, 1939 and raised again to 469.221 mph (755.138 km/h) with a Messerschmitt Me 209 (V1) on April 26, 1939. Bugatti and de Monge felt the 100P was capable of around 500 mph (800 km/h). In addition, a smaller version of the racer, known as the 101P, was planned; it featured a 5 ft (1.535 m) reduced wingspan of 22 ft (6.7 m). The 101P was to have the same engines as the 100P, but the top speed was estimated at 550 mph (885 km/h). The 100P was nearly complete when Germany invaded France. As the Germans closed in on Paris in June 1940, the Bugatti 100P was removed from the furniture factory and loaded on a truck. The 100P was taken out into the country and hidden in a barn on Bugatti’s Ermeronville Castle estate 30 mi (50 km) northeast of Paris. Bugatti 110P on display at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The cooling air exit slots on the left side of the aircraft can be seen on the wing trailing edge fillet. Also note the tail skid on the ventral fin. Ettore Bugatti died on August 21, 1947 with the 100P still stashed away in Ermeronville. The aircraft was purchased by M. Serge Pozzoli in 1960 but remained in Ermeronville until 1970 when it was sold to Ray Jones, an expert Bugatti automobile restorer from the United States. Both Pozzoli and Jones offered the 100P to French museums but were turned down. Jones acquired the 100P for the two Bugatti T50B engines installed in the aircraft. He brought the plane to the United States, removed the engines, and sold the airframe to Dr. Peter Williamson. Williamson moved the aircraft to Vintage Auto Restorations in Ridgefield, Connecticut in February 1971 to begin a lengthy restoration. Les and Don Lefferts worked on the project from 1975 to 1979. Louis de Monge was now living in the United States and assisted with some aspects of the restoration work before he passed away in 1977. In 1979, the unfinished 100P was donated to the Air Force Museum Foundation with the hope of having the restoration completed and the aircraft loaned to a museum for display. However, the aircraft sat until 1996 when it was donated to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and finally underwent a full restoration. The restored, but engineless, Bugatti 100P is currently on display at the EAA AirVenture Museum. The original engines out of the Model 100 were reportedly not the final version of the engines intended for the actual speed record run. Both engines still exist and are installed in Bugatti automobiles. The front engine is installed in Ray Jones’ 1937 Type 59/50B R Grand Prix racer, and the rear engine is installed in Charles Dean’s 1935 Type 59/50B Grand Prix racer. Since January 2009, Scotty Wilson has led an international team to build a flying replica of the Bugatti 100P in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As of 2012, the replica is close to completion, and soon a Bugatti will take to the air. Bugatti 110P on display at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Simply one of the most beautiful aircraft ever built.

bugatti-110p-side-at-eaa
johnbr, Nov 12, 2012
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    Aircraft 20's +30'
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    Nov 12, 2012
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