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« 1946 Seaplane With Diving Board Wing - Now That's Progress! | Main | Video: Swiss Pulse Jet Team: These Guys Are Crazy - I Love It! »

1970's Dreamin' - Ford Powered Biplane Racer Concept

 With the 2010 Reno Air Races fast approaching (Sept 15-19), I thought now might be a good time to check out this little blast from the past. I remember seeing these pix when I was a kid, but I don't even know what this hot looking little biplane racer was called. And, it's just a model here, as far as I know, it never got built. It sure would be cool to know the whole story on it, but two things you can tell for sure from these pix - it's gorgeous, and it was meant for some Ford V power.

 Right around 1970 was a pretty exciting time in the world of biplane racing with airplanes like the Hot Canary and Sorceress coming on the scene. This airplane would have fit right in with them for sure. The extensive innovation that was going on actually led to some changes in the biplane class rules that ultimately may have brought all the really cool stuff to an end. In my opinion, the biplane class needs a little shot of this kind of thinking to stir up more excitement : )


 Lastly, I think it's worth mentioning how cool so many of the airplanes designed in the late 60's and early 70's were. Not just racers either, lots of experimental and prototype aircraft too. I know I'm old-school, and have 40+ years of aviation history crammed into my 49 years, but I really think we need more of the design 'spirit' from those days to weave itself into our fabulous new construction materials and engines. Sure, airplanes should perform well, but man, they should look cool too! 


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Reader Comments (4)

This design received the usual end to individual thinking in air racing. Ban it. The rules at the time only restricted the engine by displacement. The Ford 289 was legal, it was to be belt driven. I think it was Robert Cumberford of Air Classics fame that came up with this, and he was shut down by the class farts. Too exotic, gotta keep it simple so we can have lot's of Smith Miniplanes, that was the convention. Too bad, we'd be way ahead.

Luckily things are changing, as of 5-11 the Sport Class allows the Super Sport rules throughout and the classes are now homolagated.

August 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterstuntflyr

I think it was "Air Progress" magazine. Congratulations to "AirPigz" readers. I've been looking for these photos for years. Thank God for the internet! All we need now is is for someone with a stash of the old AP magazines from the late 60's or early 70's to scan Robert Cumberford's article. I tried emailing him at "Road & Track" or where ever he writes now, but could only get a generic address. Anyone know him personally?

December 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJWSimpson

biplanes are realy the only planes that are not divergent because the second wing replaces the new 130 degree nose/swivel /spar angle rule for high stress modulus materials ..skeatesy1

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterskeatesy

biplanes dont violate the 130 nose rule in high stress modulus aerodynamics ..skeatesy

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterskeatesy

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