|A nearly complete Bugatti 100P reproduction can be seen all week in the EAA Welcome Center.
AirVenture attendees will have an opportunity to see the significant progress that’s been made on the incredible Bugatti Model 100P Racer reproduction project. Just head over to the EAA Welcome Center, located just west of ConocoPhillips Plaza, where it’s on display throughout the week.
Scotty Wilson, EAA 572551, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, heads the project team, which aims to fly this ahead-of-its-time 1937 design. That’s something the original never did, due to the onset of war and Germany’s invasion of France in 1940.
In June that year, just as builder Ettore Bugatti and designer Louis de Monge were getting ready to unveil this new racing plane, the Nazis were advancing on Paris. Instead of allowing their advanced, twin-engine aircraft to fall into enemy hands, Bugatti and de Monge had it stowed away in the French countryside, where it remained for more than 30 years.
In the 1970s, after being reassembled, the wooden airplane that never flew found a home at the cradle of aviation—EAA’s AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh—where it remains today on display next to the Spirit of St. Louis replica.
Wilson, a former Air Force fighter pilot, is working on the project in a hangar at Tulsa’s Harvey Young Airport. “People will see a substantially complete structure,” he said. That includes completed cockpit details, attached landing gear, and all flight controls covered with at least a first coat of Poly-Brush and a light primer coat.
The team hopes to attempt a first flight in the fall, pending installation of the as-yet unnamed engines. The counter-rotating props are custom-made by GT Propellers in Italy.
Bugatti and de Monge began construction of the airplane in 1937, which makes next year the 75th anniversary for the original project.