|10/26/11 11:36PM||Aircraft, Chevy, Dago Red, for, Ford, Gee Bee, H-1 Racer, hot rods, Jn-4, Rare Bear|
Aircraft Hot Rods of the Sky
Now some of you may be thinking “this is a Kustom Magazine why is there an article about Aircraft?” Well the other night I was watching Stacey David’s Gearz and the episode was about an Aircraft that could be considered a Hot Rod. Which was the Stearman Model 75, and as for me being into Aviation and Hot Rodding I really enjoyed this episode. As I was watching it though I felt that there are a few more Aircraft that could be considered Hot Rods:
Curtis JN-4 aka the Jenny – The Jenny was the 32 Ford of the Skies, originally used as the US Trainer in WW1 to train pilots. However after the War there was a surplus of Jenny’s (why doesn’t that happen today?) and the US Military had no use for them. So the US sold them off too pilots for a very low price. In the 20s these Jenny’s became the Aircraft of Choice for Barnstormers and Barnstorming! Barnstorming is where pilots flew from town to town usually landing on Farms to put on airshows which involved everything from Loops to rolls, to dives, and other Air Combat maneuvers. Sometimes it would even involve Ariel Stunts such as wing walking, and even playing tennis on the wing. These planes were affordable, easily modified and everyone wanted one, making them the 32 Ford of the skies.
Gee Bee Model Z/ Model R- The Super Stock aircraft of the skies, they were built for one thing to win air races! They had custom paint jobs, streamline body styling and a large Pratt & Whitney engine to power them and make be able to race at over 200 MPH! Sadly both of the originals were destroyed in crashes however a few replicas still exist.
Rare Bear- Rare Bear is like a Hemi Powered Willys Gassers of the skies. It was once a massed produced (well sort of) F8F Barecat that started as a wreck (kind of like a Junkyard wreck) that was found by Lyle Shelton in the 60s who restored the Aircraft and turned into a Reno Air Racer. Since then, the Aircraft has become a Reno Air Racing Icon. It has won several races and in 2006 it sold for $2 million dollars! Rare Bear is capable of 528 MPH and can climb to almost 10,000FT in 91 seconds, which is better than a stock F8F! The plane has gone through many changes in both color scheme (paint job) and performance over the years making it the true Willys of the skies!
Dago Red- Dago Red is a P-51 Mustang that is the 55 Chevy of the skies. It started as one of the many produced P-51s in WWII and Just after, then it was found in 1981 restored by racer Frank Taylor and made into a world record Air Racing Aircraft! The plane is has a bright red paint job with Flames (like a Hot Rod) it is capable of 520 MPH can climb at 8000FT per min and has won the National Air Racing Championship 6 times! This is a true Hot Rod of the Skies!
Hughes H-1 Racer- Howard Hughes’ Hot Rod of the Skies, it was like a Custom Bonneville car of the skies. This plane was a custom built aircraft built for one thing to go fast and it was damn good at doing that! The H-1 Racer was capable of a max speed of 352 MPH, and it held a transcontinental flight record of flying of flying from Los Angeles to New York nonstop in just over 7 Hours! The plane is believed to be the inspiration for fighter Aircraft such as the P-47, the FW-190 and the Japanese Zero which is believed to be almost a copy.
Some of you that are into aviation are probably thinking there are more Aircraft that could be considered Hot Rods and if you know any please leave it as a comment blow. If you don’t know any, just comment below and tell me what you think.