Current Location: Private Collector
Perhaps the best known of all "Golden Age" American racing airplanes, the Gee Bee was produced by the five Granville Brothers and their associates. The "Gee Bee" name was derived from the initials of the manufacturers.
Bold and radical in concept, the Gee Bee R-1 racer was built with one thing in mind; SPEED! Built in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Granville Brothers' R-1 was one of the most noted racing airplanes of the early 1930's. Russell Boardman first flew the R-1 in August of 1932. After the initial flight, modifications to the fin and rudder were performed to improve directional stability. Although Boardman was scheduled to pilot the R-1 Racer in the National Air Races, he was injured in another airplane, and temporarily out of action. Thus, Jimmy Doolittle took over, and proceeded to capture the world’s speed record, with an average of 296.287 mph. He later went on to win the Thompson Trophy Race. Today, the renowned pilot is best known for his participation in WWII. On April 18, 1942, the "Doolittle Raid" became the first US strike on the Japanese Home Islands.
This scale model airplane was produced using the nicely detailed 1/32 Williams Brothers kit. The excessive amount of sanding required, coupled with an intricate paint scheme, made this one of the most challenging kits thus far. Enjoy the photos.