Awhile back, I documented a Cessna C-34 that raced (and won) which made it eligible for the FAC Thompson Races. The FAC Rules have changed, but it is still eligible for the FAC National Air Races. Read what I wrote about Betty Brown’s C-34 here.
Yesterday, an EAA video was posted in the Cessna Airmaster Facebook Group (here) which featured Steve Wittman. At about 30 seconds into the video we see Wittman flying a red Airmaster with a white racing number “45” on the side. Here is the video:
I asked if there was documentation – what registration number and what race (all required for proper FAC Race participation) and Daniel Henley provided this image:
As it says, this is from the 1939 Miami All-American Air Races and the specific race was for the Green Trophy; a race for C-licensed airplanes with engines displacing 550 cubic inches or less.
This particular photo is FULL of racers that are eligible for our FAC NAR! All you have to do is document them!
The Wittman racer was NC-18554 and according to other Cessna Documentation, it was:
- a C-37
- manufactured on 09 Aug 1937
- sold originally to Wittman
- was Stearman Vermilion, with Diana Cream trim, and an Alexander Blue pinstripe
- note that the race number appears to be white-whashed on the side.
There are four other Cessnas, two Monocoupes, and a Rearwin registered for this race. Here is what I can find on the other aircraft:
- Cessna NC-19491 – C-145 – Stearman Vermilion, Curtiss Blue trim , black pinstripe, race number 10 (or 18?) – no photo
- Cessna NC-19484 – C-145 – Galetea Orange #55, Marine Blue #71 trim, Drake Blue #70 pinstripe, race number 29 (?) – plane still exists
- Cessna NC-19459 – C-38 – Lemon Yellow #53, Willow Green trim, black pinstripe, race number 32(?) – plane still exists, but not original colors
- Cessna NC-19464 – C-145 – Brilliant Vermilion #60, Drake Blue #70 trim, Marine Blue #71 pinstripe, race number 39 – plane still exists
- Monocoupe – NC508W – Model 110, race number 36, but right now, I can find no other information besides being owned and flown by Larry Cook. He raced it as early as 1937.
- Rearwin – NC19415 – Speedster 6000M, race number 23 – unknown original colors, but the plane still exists (I will have details on a different racing Speedster in a future article):
- Monocoupe – excuse me while I dive deep here – Johnny Livingston is my favorite race pilot. Livingston was famous for racing a Monocoupe, NR501W – but the Monocoupe he raced here was NOT 501W. He sold 501W to finance his Cessna CR-3 racer. This Monocoupe is another clipped-wing 110, NC-511. This was owned by Clare Bunch (president of Monocoupe) and had a racing history, also. Here are some contemporary photos of NC511:
As I understand it, Livingston went on to win this Green Trophy – and at least one other event at the 1939 Miami races. Here is a photo with him after the races.
NC511 still exists, although now registered at NC101. You can read about it in the EAA publication Vintage Airplanes here. An interesting note on the article below, Facebook friend Harman Dickerson did work on the restoration!
So there is more info than you could have expected for several “new” race-eligible aircraft!
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