Ettore Bugatti's 100P Air Racer Set to Fly for the First Time

Similar to what most of the automotive geniuses were doing in those times, Ettore Bugatti would always think of one thing with every new project: being the fastest. Bugatti Model 100 was a purpose built air racer designed to compete in the 1939 Deutsch de la Meurthe Cup Race. The aircraft never flew due to the beginning of World War II, but a team of enthusiasts is now working at making it happen.
Ettore Bugatti’s Only Air Racer Is Being Brought to Life 1 photo
Photo: Kickstarter
Ettore Bugatti started working at his racing aircraft in 1938 using engines sold in his automotive line for co-marketing. His chief engineer was Louis de Monge, with whom the French automobile designer has worked before. He also received a little help from the country’s government who offered him to use the technology of the racing aircraft to develop a fighter variant for mass production.

While the plane was the source of five modern patents including the inline engines, V-tail mixer controls, and the automatic flap systems, Ettore never saw it lift off due to the German invasion of France. After the war, the only 100P ever made was left to rot for half a century before eventually being restored to non-flying condition. It’s now on display at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

However, as you may recall, in 2013 there was a team of volunteers who launched a Kickstarter campaign to finish Bugatti’s airplane. This takes us to the reason we are writing the post. They have recently updated their project, telling their pledgers what the current stage is. Here’s what they wrote:

We conducted a successful moderate-speed test and a high-power engine test a few days ago. This is all part of an orchestrated test profile to ensure all systems are ready to go for the first flight a few weeks from now.

That’s great news and means that we’re soon to see it taking regular trips. If you want to see the craft in action, feel freed to check out their Kickstarter campaign where they uploaded a short clip with it.

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