Williams Brothers Aircraft 1/32 Gee Bee Z Super Sportster Aircraft Kit

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$22.75 $29.95
SKU: WIL-32526

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Orginally Granville Aircraft Corp was established by the eldest of four brothers Zantford (Granny) Granville and by 1929 having been joined by his brothers Robert, Tom, and Edward, located to Springfield, Massachusetts.  'Granny' was a remarkable pioneer in the field of aeronautical development and many patents are attributed to him, from the introduction of flaps, to colored smoke dispensers.

With the depression loaming the Granville Brothers looked to the lucrative arena of air racing and so the legend was born.  In 1930 the GeeBee Model X Sportster flown by Lowell Bayles came second in the All American Derby, a 5,541 mile race from Detroit to Texas.  Nine of the Model X Sportster's were manufactured, and following on came the Model Y or Super Sportster of which only two were made. Money was tight for the Granville Brothers so with donations and sponsorship deals in August 1931 the Model Z Super Sportster was born. This was the classic GeeBee airframe, short at only 15 feet long and a round 'barrel' shaped fuselage.  But aerodynamically the perfect shape for pylon racing with the plane on its side most of the time the fuselage body gives lift, in fact the original lifting body.  It was powered by a mighty Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial giving 535hp, and painted a dazzling yellow and black. The Model Z was christened 'City of Springfield' and in the hands of Lowell Bayles broke the unofficial world speed record of 286mph.  It went on to win the Goodyear Trophy race, the General Tyre & Rubber Trophy and the Thompson Trophy race, and many others.  Now fitted with a larger Pratt & Whitney Wasp 750hp engine the stage was set for the magic 300mph speed record attempt.

After some frustrating attempts dogged by mechanical problems, it was Lowell Bayles who on December 5th 1931 took off from Detroit for the speed record attempt.  Diving down to under 200ft and building up speed Bayles levelled out but shortly after, the plane pitched up and the GeeBee was sent into a violent snap roll and ploughed into the ground.  The plane exploded on impact and the 31 year old Bayles was killed instantly.  There are many theories as to why this happened and originally it was thought the filler cap had come loose and penetrated the canopy hitting Bayles in the face causing the violent maneuver. But after investigating movie footage it seems the right wing collapsed, this theory is compounded knowing the Model Z was involved the previous day in a low speed ground accident possibly damaging the right wing.
  • Highly detailed plastic pieces molded in grey
  • Recommended for skilled modelers
  • Waterslide decals
  • Illustrated instructions

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