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   xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jul 16 10:59 PM

7-16-2014: Gee Bee model R

Aww, isn't that a cute aeroplane. Well only, if you think a skunk is a kitty cat, or a viper is a garden hose.

Quote:
The Gee Bee Model R Super Sportster is a classic airplane designed by Granville Brothers Aircraft of Springfield, Massachusetts, and built specifically for the 1932 Thompson Trophy Race. The airplane was billed as "the fastest and most maneuverable licensed airplane for its horsepower in the United States", and it kept up to its name winning the 1932 race for pilot Jimmy Doolittle, and setting a new world landplane speed record of 476 km/h. The Gee Bee Sportsters soon became a prized possession and were frequently shown off at airshows by their owners, attracting much attention wherever they appeared.


Quote:
However, his extreme rearward placement allowed the forward fuselage to block all forward-low views over and out past the engine. Similarly, the small cockpit window areas forced the pilot to work harder than most.
The Gee Bee Model R also had a natural tendency to lift, allowing for the racer to make breakneck turns around pylons while maintaining or gaining altitude as opposed to losing it. This design, although inherently beneficial, provided for some deadly flying experiences for many of her pilots.
Like most motorized machines designed for the very best drivers/pilots, they always trade off some safer handling to be on the cutting edge of a particular school of racing.

Quote:
The Granville aircrafts has a long history of crashes starting from earlier models - Model X, Model C, Model D, Model E, Model Y and Model Z, all of which ended with some catastrophe or the other killing many pilots in the process, including one of the Granville brother Z.D. Granville. Model R followed the same pattern. After the 5th major accident, it was decided that any further rebuilds would be pointless and potentially fatal for future pilots.

None of the original Gee Bee Sportster Series aircraft survive today. A flying replica of the R-2 was built by Steve Wolf and Delmar Benjamin who flew it in aerobatic routine at numerous airshows demonstrating what the misunderstood aircraft is capable in the hands of a pilot who understands its characteristics.
Sure are fun to watch, but maybe some of that is knowing things could go to hell in a hurry.

link


sexobon  Wednesday Jul 16 11:37 PM

I'd like to see a pontoon version.



Gravdigr  Thursday Jul 17 02:15 AM

It's pretty much wings bolted to an engine, innit?



Griff  Thursday Jul 17 06:34 AM

Pretty high cool factor.



glatt  Thursday Jul 17 09:36 AM

This is probably sacrilege, but it would be pretty easy today to put a small and unobtrusive camera underneath pointing downward and have a small display in the cockpit for the pilot to see where the hell they are going.



Carruthers  Thursday Jul 17 09:44 AM

I never flew a tail dragger so I can't speak from experience, but I bet that thing was a pig to land and worse to taxy.



Sheldonrs  Thursday Jul 17 09:59 AM

short and thick, just the way I like 'em.



Spexxvet  Thursday Jul 17 10:22 AM

I had a model of this when I was a lad



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Jul 17 12:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
This is probably sacrilege, but it would be pretty easy today to put a small and unobtrusive camera underneath pointing downward and have a small display in the cockpit for the pilot to see where the hell they are going.
Yes, there are ways to compensate for the restrictions they put up with to fly a cutting edge racer. But this isn't a design you'd want to fly on a daily basis. It would be a hangar queen that only came out to play on special occasions.


Gravdigr  Thursday Jul 17 05:17 PM

He's just trying to find uses for that GoPro.



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