The Bugatti 100P project is quite close to completion, but funding is getting tight, that's why Scotty Wilson uses this novel "crowd funding" method to be able to complete this dream of an aeroplane. In his words:
We’ve worked hard for over three years to bring Bugatti’s “Blue Dream” to life. Some of you have followed our progress from the beginning; others are relative newcomers. We appreciate all of your kind words and encouragement. You remind us often that some dreams are so big and so bold they span oceans, decades, and lifetimes. Bugatti’s “Rêve Bleu” is one such dream.
We need your help and want to offer you a meaningful way to participate as we enter the final stage of this project. If every one of our website and Facebook fans passes this along to every one of their Facebook and other “Friends” we’ll reach our goals.
Please join with us on what promises to be an eventful final leg of this journey. See more at Kickstarter by following this link:
With your help, we can change history!
On September 8 and 9 (from 10 - 18 h) there will be an exposition in the deMonge family castle (chateau de Wallay) at the rue de Gesves 191, Ohey, Belgium.
Apart from the exploits of Louis de Monge and the Bugatti 100P, there will be other expositions about other family members, and the castle history
March 18, 2012
From the RPE Press Office:
"Radical Performance Engines is pleased to confirm its association with the Bugatti 100P project, a recreation of the most advanced aircraft of the 1930s, by supplying two RPE 1500cc powerplants and technical support to the project.
The Bugatti 100P Projects’ aim is to bring to the skies a reproduction of the original Bugatti 100P airplane, an elegant design that sadly never saw the light of day due to the outbreak of WW2. A dedicated team of volunteers has painstakingly constructed the airframe, working towards a completion date at the end of the year. The Bugatti 100P featured a number of ground-breaking techniques, including dramatic, forward-swept wings, counter-rotating propellers and automatic wing-flaps.
RPE will supply two 1500cc, 260bhp four-cylinder engines to the project, highly-compact engines that are situated in the fuselage behind the pilot and connected to the nose mounted gearbox with driveshaft’s that run below the pilots elbows. The same engine design is well-proven, used in Radical Sportscars' best-selling SR3 RS racecar, in production for over a decade. Just like the original, the new Bugatti 100P will be using a race-proven engine, albeit this time controlled by an advanced engine management system with full data logging.
"RPE is extremely proud to be assisting the Bugatti 100P Project on this exciting venture, bringing one of the most distinctive aero shapes of the 30's to the skies at last," said RPE General Manager, James Williams. "With RPE power, the Bugatti 100P can exhibit the same outstanding performance and manoeuvrability that was envisaged for the aircraft over 70 years ago."
Radical Performance Engines are the world’s leading small-capacity racing engine and drive system specialists. With over thirty years’ experience in engine tuning, Radical Performance Engines has established an enviable reputation in the design and production of an increasing range of four and eight-cylinder race engines, all of which are built and developed in-house. Such is RPE’s confidence in the reliability of the engine work it carries out, much is covered by a warranty for 40 racing hours; no other manufacturer at this level of motorsport offers such cover."
For more media information contact: Will Brown, Radical Group Press Office: +44 (0)1733 331616
I have not been updating the news on Scotty Wilson's replica project often, as it is much more convenient and informative to follow progress on his own website: bugatti100p.com. The advances are considerable though, with detailing going on for the cockpit, the wings and all other parts needed. However, the decision to switch to single piece propellers needed a redesign of the gearbox, thus setting the project back by several months. See some of the pictures below.
Meanwhile, Scotty also found the time to come to the European Airshow Convention in Brussels (February 23-25) and hold a lecture: "The Bugatti Project: from drawing board to flying display."
18 February 2012: Fitting canopy attachment
Another view of canopy and cockpit
Landing Gear after plating
Shop (North End) on 17 Feb 2012
14 February 2012: Many of the gearbox components are shown in this image. Progress is now well advanced on the manufacture with the shafts currently undertgoing final machining, gears and minor shafts out for heat treating and all bearings and seals with the manufacturer.
2nd February 2012: Casings loose assembled to check for fit and tolerance.
September 13, 2011
I'm very sorry to announce that Jean Sibille died on September 2, at the respectable age of 87, his son Jean-François Sibille recently sent the notice of his father's passing. Jean leaves three children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
On the picture above Jean Sibille can be seen seated on the left, the person standing being Jean-Louis Arbey. The picture was taken by Michael Firczuk in 2001
Jean Sibille was a 15 year old apprentice draftsman who in the late 1930s worked for Louis de Monge. He was the very last person still alive who was there at the workshop when the Bugatti 100P was being built. He contributed to the knowledge about the 100P significantly by sharing with us many details that no one else could have possibly known. For example, he knew – and we later confirmed – that the cockpit was not painted red; the engines were never started once installed in the plane; and that Bernard de Romanet’s widow was a frequent visitor (though it may be also that she was in fact Louis de Monge's secretary, as there was a Madame de Romanet on the payroll.)
Furthermore, Jean Sibille made a few drawings depicting the workshop layout, as well as the drawing room with all people present.
Several BAA members met with Jean Sibille, like Michael Firczuk and Jean-Louis Arbey, while others like Frederic Gasson talked extensively with him on the phone. Ladislas de Monge met with Mr. Sibille recently in his home.
August 7, 2011
The Bugatti 100P replica was presented from July 25 - 31 at the Oskosh Airventure 2011, and attracted lot's of attention, as can be seen on the top left picture, on the right the airplane as it was just before the show.
Appreciation was great especially for showing an unfinished airplane, where the build principle and other details could be still seen.
More info and pictures.
August 7, 2011
The Japanese monthly magazine Aireview (since 1951) features a 8-page article on the Bugatti 100P, in it's September 2011 issue. Author Ken'Ichi Sunohara received some assistance from the BAA.
However, it is impossible for me to read the contents, as the only characters that one can recognise are the numbers. From these numbers however, it can be seen that the article starts with a general history of Bugatti, and mentions the WW1 aero engines. There is of course a description of the airplane itself, and the Scotty Wilson replica project is mentioned, including a picture of Wilson and Carlson measuring the airfoil on the original airplane.
The article also mentions the NACA 23012 airfoil as measured, and the Durakore material that Scotty uses for the replica.
Scotty Wilson works to build a Bugatti 100P aircraft in a hangar at Harvey Young Airport in east Tulsa.
Group rebuilds piece of aviation history with Bugatti 100P reproduction
They did a pretty good job with the print article; the video is exceptionally good considering the esoteric subject matter.
However, as usual, the press never gets everything right. They left off several sponsor and partner names; they have Ladislas being a former fighter pilot!
Go to tulsaworld.com for the article plus video.
Futher info about Scotty Wilson's replica project, in newsletter no. 3, go to bugatti100p.com
Oklahoma Man's Bugatti Plane Replica A Journey of Discovery - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, go to newson6.com
Futher info about Scotty Wilson's replica project, in two newsletters, go to bugatti100p.com
Above an image as the airplane is now, with wing spars installed.
John R Lawson made a new website for Scotty Wilson's replica project, go to: bugatti100p.com
Long-time professional drawing-artist (of eg. the Hulk and other comics), Bugatti and Bugatti Airplane enthusiast and BAA member Herb Trimpe made a comic strip "Firehawks" in which the Bugatti 100P airplane plays the main role.
I won't give any details on the story, I'll just tell you that it is both interesting and exiting.
The comic is now published: more details!
Scotty Wilson (left) and Gregg Carlson use the Profiler to collect data on the Bugatti’s wing.
Members aim to replicate, fly acclaimed aircraft
Two Oklahoma EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) members are breathing new life into one of aviation history’s most beautiful but unproven designs, the Bugatti Model 100 Racer. This sleek machine was built by famed automobile maker Ettore Bugatti and engineer Louis de Monge to compete in an air race before the outbreak of World War II, but it wasn’t finished in time. When the German army marched on Paris in June 1940, the project was abandoned before the airplane ever flew.
But Scotty Wilson, EAA 572551, and Gregg Carlson, EAA 1015379, are on a mission to change that.
The two flew from Tulsa to Oshkosh this week to examine the genuine article – the Bugatti Racer airframe donated to EAA in 1996 that’s on prominent display next to EAA’s Spirit of St. Louis replica in the EAA AirVenture Museum. In particular, they’re trying to identify the NACA equivalent airfoil Bugatti used by using what they call the Profiler, an electronic plotter that rolls along the wing’s surface transferring data to a computer for analysis.
“There is disagreement among enthusiasts regarding the airfoil,” said Wilson, a retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot who now flies a Lancair 360. “The discussion ranges widely – and wildly – from an Eiffel 317 (definitely not, he said) to the equivalent of a NACA 21112.1 with reflexed meanline (Wilson’s choice).”
Some aviation enthusiasts insist that since the aircraft has never flown, it is not historically significant, but Scotty Wilson vehemently disagrees. “There were five patents issued to Bugatti for the airplane – many of which appeared on other aircraft after the war,” he said, including the dual drive train, the flight control tail that mixes the elevator and the rudder, and the automatic flaps system, which pre-dates the F-16’s by 40 years.
The fact that it has never flown makes the project a unique challenge. The reasons against building it – it never flew, no drawings, etc. – also present a research challenge. It is their intention to honor the original builders by making a true copy. To do that they need to profile the wing to determine the airfoil.
Regarding the engines, Bugatti designed the airplane to use two of his famous 50B engines modified for aircraft use, turning two metal, ground-adjustable, contra-rotating Ratier propellers. The two original 50Bs still exist, and Wilson and Carlson have seen one of them – in South Carolina. The other is in England.
The replica racer is being built so it could accommodate 50B replica engines, but the likely powerplants will be two late-1990s/early 2000s BMW engines.
No one could tackle a project of this importance and complexity without assistance, and Wilson and Carlson are quick to acknowledge those who have been most helpful. For example, they credit EAA’s restoration photographs along with those of Michael Firczuk as being crucial to the effort. “We also owe thanks to our European friends, Jaap Horst and Frederic Gasson. They are among the most knowledgeable – and unselfish – people with whom we’ve had the pleasure to work,” Wilson said.
Original article from www.eaa.org.
Scotty Wilson and Gregg Carlson started the build of a replica of the Bugatti 100P airplane this summer. The following text is from Scotty Wilson:
My good friend Gregg Carlson and I first discussed building a replica Bugatti 100P one year ago. We concluded after several months of research that we could and should build the plane. We knew there would be challenges because the plane is such a devilish mixture of simplicity and complexity. And, with so many gaps in the historical record, we just had to accept the fact that we would not be able to answer every question. At some point, we would be faced with a choice: move forward or succumb to paralysis by analysis.
We chose to move forward, and are building a replica as faithful to the original as is practical.
With many thanks to several BAA members, we have finished our preliminary design studies, assembled an international team of enthusiasts, and are well along with assembling the fuselage. We began planking the fuselage with a balsa/hardwood product yesterday, and will have the fuselage shell essentially completed by the end of September. This is a bit behind our original schedule but we are on track to fly the plane in the Spring of 2011.
The design lends itself nicely to being built upside-down (see photographs). We’ve attached the balsa/hardwood sandwich planks (approximately 30mm wide) to the permanent bulkheads and longerons and to the temporary formers. Once we’ve covered the entire fuselage, we will follow with epoxy between the planks and then cover the exterior with fiberglass. Once the fiberglass covering is cured, we will turn the fuselage right-side up and put it in a cradle. We will then remove all temporary formers, fiberglass the inside surface, and install the remaining permanent bulkheads, doublers, and other supporting structure.
The rear two fuselage bulkheads are part of the plane’s permanent structure, as are the longerons. We felt it necessary to permanently affix the planks securely to the aft bulkheads while the plane was in the jig, so to ensure proper alignment of the tail surfaces.
We will have a website up soon so that those interested in the project can follow our progress.
Long-time professional drawing-artist (of eg. the Hulk and other comics), Bugatti and Bugatti Airplane enthusiast and BAA member Herb Trimpe made a comic strip "Spitfire" in which the Bugatti 100P airplane plays the main role.
I won't give any details on the story, I'll just tell you that it is both interesting and exiting.
The comic will be published by Image Comics of Berkeley, California, USA. It will probably be published together with several other comics in one booklet / magazine.
The Dutch / Belgian branch of the Bugatti Aircraft Association had a successfull first meeting on November 29. As an appropriate location we chose the private Bugatti museum of Jean Prick, son of the famous "Bugatti Pope" Guillaume Prick, who played in important role in the early Bugatti club organisation.
Present were 5 members, plus 3 interested Bugattists of whom two became members of the BAA (At last, Frans!) after the meeting. On the top photo we see them from left to right: Jan Boellaard and his brother Edwin, Jeroen Vossen, Jean Prick (sitting down holding the original print of the T67 engine), Martijn Visser, Jaap Horst and Frans Hofman (below) and Bart Rosman.
We were kindly welcomed by Jean, and after a small introdcution and some discussion about the BAA organisation and recent developments, there were two presentations. One by Jaap, about the Bugatti Airplane. This presentation was largely based on the presentations by Philippe Ricco and Frederic Gasson in February of this year, at the Retromobile in Paris. After this there was a very interesting presentation by Martijn Visser, on all Bugatti boats (the Niniette's, the airplane engined power racers, the torpedo boats and the "Barbara III" sailboat. A lot of new information and pictures were presented by Martijn.
After this, we had a tour through Jean's museum, where the result of over half a century of collecting Bugatti items is very remarkable indeed. Below a picture, giving a small impression of what can be seen!
The day was concluded with a very nice dinner in a nearby restaurant.
Forum on the 100P at the secretprojects site, with various comments, including a redesign of a fighter version of the 100P, using a Bugatti T67 V-16 engine:
Forum on model-building a 100P, various pages. In Dutch, but with interesting photographs:
The BAA board decided that we need a speedy way to interchange information, that's why I put the BAA file server online.
All members can view and upload here all Bugatti 100P and associated information.
Of course the file server is at this moment only partly filled, plase contribute as you can!
Access through BugattiAircraft.com - members only
Of course the information is intended for BAA members only, it is not allowed that the information will be used in any external publications, without permission from the BAA!
The BAA just received two parts, which were most probably intended for the Bugatti Airplane. The two identical parts were offered to BAA president Jaap Horst by Norbert Bukowski, to be placed on the "parts for sale" page of Jaap's Bugatti site. Jaap compared the photographs he had received from Norbert who identified the parts as "possibly T64" , with all drawings and photographs of the Bugatti Airplane that he has in his files. Jaap finally encountered one photograph from the collection of Jean Louis Arbey, who has various Bugatti airplane parts in his possession. Two similar, though slightly different, parts are shown in the photograph below.
We still do not know exactly how the engines were mounted, it seems that the engines were mounted on two rails alongside either side of the engine, these rails being attached to these engine mounts, and the engines mounts to the fuselage bulkheads.
The parts are made of aluminium, and have 2 horizontal and three vertical holes. The base width of the part is 100mm, maximum width 140mm, the height 85mm, thickness 44mm.
The distance between both big holes is 100mm, diameter 14mm. Distance between the two outer vertical holes is 70mm, diameter 11mm. The third hole is ecactly in the middle, with an ofset of 20mm.
The parts seem not to have been used at all, there are no scratches from mounting or tightening bolts or otherwise. This is nothing strange, many "double" parts are known to exist, for example all the parts in Arbey's collection are also with the plane. On the drawings of the metal parts, present in the library of the Schlumpf museum in Mulhouse, it is indicated that two item should be made. Bugatti was in fact making the parts for two airplanes, though only one airplane was really made.
So, this being the first parts, still several to go before we can put a replica of the airplane together, using original parts! How would 3 out of 5 work for an airplane?
A Forum discussion about what the fighter version of the Bugatti airplane, the 110P, might look like. Includes a drawing where the T67 16 cylinder has been put in the 100P:
And a complete (searchable) archive of all issues of the UK magazine "Flight", from the start of the magazine in 1909! Nothing on the Bugatti airplane, several items about deMonge and Breguet-Bugatti, also items about the Deutsch de la Meurthe races:
These are images of the wooden propeller of the flying-wing airplane "deMonge Type 7.5" of 1925. This airplane was powered by two Bugatti Brescia 4-cylinder engines of 1500cc each. The propeller is made by the Lumiere company, which was at that time owned by deMonge. Photographs were kindly sent to us by owner Daniel Lapp from France.
Apparently Louis deMonge, known for being the chief-designer for Ettore Bugatti's 100P air racer, made the design of this improved propeller during his military service in World War One, on a shed door which he converted into a drawing table. Aparently the design was succesfull, in being a much more efficient propeller than what was used up to that date.
This propeller was one of two that were used on the deMonge 7.5, one of the various airplanes designed and built by Louis de Monge, sometimes in cooperation with others. The 7.5 was a small flying wing design, the 7.3 being a bigger version.
The propeller has the Lumiere factory mark on it, and is inscribed on the hub; "de Monge 7.5" and "Bugatti 1500". Above on the right an image of the deMonge 7.5, showing that the fuselage has a wing profile. More about deMonge and his creations in various issues of "Pegasus"
As you may know, this association was run by myself, Jaap Horst, for 10 years now, in which period I made 18 issues of the Newsletter Pegasus, and in which period the number of members grew steadily to about 55 today.
As the BAA is an international organization, distances make it difficult to organize meetings, where people can actually see each other, and talk about the airplane. If we can make a separate branch organization for each major country, there can be meetings for each country separately. I made the following member count:
13 in Netherlands/Belgium
10 in France/Switzerland
17 in USA
8 in UK
Logically, it was decided that we need a branch in the USA, UK, French and the Netherlands. Other countries (Italy, Austria, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland) have only one or a few members each. Members of these countries can of course attend the branch meetings in other countries.
After this decision, I had contact with possible board members for each country, I had already some enthusiastic members with whom I was communicating a lot, so the board members (or directors) for the different countries are the following:
USA: John M. Mellberg of High Point, North Carolina possibly with help from his son (also John) and Michael Firczuk of Durham, New Hampshire.
France: Frederic Gasson of Sceaux (near Paris) .
Netherlands: Jaap Horst of Nieuwegein and Martijn Visser of Wilnis.
UK: Paul Nickalls of Much Wenlock, Shropshire
Contact details for the board members; further down the page.
The BAA during 10 years was mostly a paper association. Members came together once at Retromobile, and in august 2005 we organized a stand at the Dietz airshow. Between Frederic Gasson and myself rose the idea to organize again a meeting, and this time let it coincide with the Retromobile classic car show in Paris, which is held every February. Idea behind this move was that many Bugattistes, and among them quite a few BAA-members, visit Retromobile every year. A contact was made with the musée de l’Air et Espace at LeBourget airport, on the northside of Paris. However, it turned out that the museum would not give us a conference-location for free. As the BAA is not a very rich association, we could not go forward with this. Frederic contacted the Retromobile organization (Thierry Farges) which had a new possibility; the organization of conferences! In fact, for the conferences they use the location where the Bonhams auction was held. There were two downsides; the conference should be held the 2nd weekend of the Retromobile (with most BAA members going the 1st weekend), and the language of all speeches should be in French…
From then we (Frederic mainly) moved fast-forward with the organization. He invited Aviation author Philippe Ricco to hold an introduction on the airplane (My French turned out to be not too bad, but I still held my short welcome speech in English, Frederic translated it), the students of ENSICA aeronautical university in Toulouse would hold an introduction on the study they are currently performing on the 100P airplane, and Frederic would hold a talk about the future. The date was set to Saturday February 16, the next day there would be a possibility to meet at the musée de l’Air et Espace.
So, what new informations were given during the conference? In the following, a short overview of the speeches held, and the surprising aspects in the contents thereof. Photo: Frederic Gasson
Philippe Ricco - L’avion Bugatti 100P
The subjects covered by Philippe were the following: Evolution of French Aviation, Bugatti and aviation, Louis De Monge, Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe, Construction of the Bugatti 100P, other realisations by coworkers. Philippe comments how in the beginning of the 20th century France was the centre of the development of aviation, with many pioneering aviators. During the first world war, airplane manufacture was industrialised. He went on about the early post war period where mainly warproducts were re-used, and the futher rationalisation and regroupement of producers that took place later in the inbetween war years..
He then focuses on the involvement of Bugatti in aviation, with the WW1 engines and the Bugatti-licensed engines. Philippe shows a lot of unknown photographs, which makes this part very interesting.
Apart from the well-known Breguet Léviathan, of which Philippe showed some hitherto unknown photographs like the one above (which is in fact a color photograph, or maybe a colored photograph) and a blueprint for this “Avion Type 20” 900hp powerplant, also the more unknown Gyroplane Laboratoire Breguet was included, with many more photographs. The Bugatti-shape radiator, as well as the outline of the 8-cilindre Breguet-Bugatti engine can be seen. See for more info Pegasus 12.
Philippe ends this story on Bugatti in aviation with a list of (french) patents, many of them already known.
The story logically continues with an overview of airplane constructions by Louis de Monge, Philippe gives the following list, and gives a few new photographs:
1914 : Buscaylet expérimental à aile « vivante »
1921 : Lumière-De Monge 5/1
1923 : Buscaylet-De Monge 5/2
1925 : De Monge 7/3
1925 : De Monge 7/5
1927 : De Monge 10-1 (Koolhoven FK-31)
1931 : De Monge 120 RN3
Especially the 1923 Buscaylet-De Monge 5/2 and the 1925 De Monge 7/3 were airplanes that I did not know of yet, and which are a very interesting addition to the history that finally led to the Bugatti 100P.
Philippe then gave an overview of the history of the Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe, a Prize created in 1900 by Henry Deutsch de la Meurthe and Ernest Archdeacon. There were 5 races from 1912 to 1922 over 200, two times 200, and finally 300 km. It was recreated in 1931 by Suzanne Deutsch de la Meurthe, there were 3 races in 1933, 1934 and 1935.
Philippe Ricco goes on to the development history of the Bugatti aircraft, with the 1st 2x3.2 litre design which was not executed, the 100P, 101P (with smaller wingspan) and the 110P (the combat version). He shows a few photo’s that were not shown in Pegasus before. Also, Philippe shows new drawings, made by André Tilley. Philippe Ricco finishes with an overview of later constructions made by those that worked on the Bugatti airplane, André Stark, André Grenet and Max Holste. Especially the last was quite successful after the war.
Florent Barbes, Yannick Neubrand, Morgan Cotel, Elena Collado Morata
Étude en soufflerie du domaine de vol basses vitesses
The above students of ENSICA in Toulouse are studying the behaviour of the Bugatti 100P. This project was initiated by Frederic Gasson, who will built the 1:5 scale model (shown above) which will be used in the windtunnel tests. Goal of the study is to increase the knowledge of especially the low-speed stability of the Bugatti airplane. Roughly, there are 3 stages in the project:
- Preliminary study, in which the order of magnitude of the different parameters (speed, forces etc.) are estimated
- The windtunnel test itself and the preparations for this test.
- Post-test analysis: Transposition to real scale
Scale effect (Reynolds)
Geometry and speed
Analysis using computer simulations
The windtunnel used for the testing was built in 1941, and was used for the testing of many aircraft, including the Concorde.
Results of this study will be published in Pegasus in the near future!
Frederic Gasson - Bugatti 100P revival project
Frederic Gasson goes into the post-war history of the Bugatti airplane, of course ending in the situation as it is today, in the EAA museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
He then goes into the details of the airplane, showing many interesting photographs. Shown is a period photograph of the wing, clearly showing the flaps of the Bugatti 100P airplane. Most of these were taken when the plane was being restored in Oshkosh. I was told by John Mellberg that the, now characteristic red color for the cockpit and the grey colour for the engine compartment was painted like this by Les Lefferts, to hide the bad shape that the wood of the fuselage structure was in.
Frederic continues with the history of speed records in aviation, with both the absolute records (for propeller planes) both the sea-planes as the landplanes. Interestingly, Frederic also mentions some speeds for (modern) aircraft with limited power. See table on the right. This of course also relates to his project for a flying replica of the Bugatti airplane, which, when executed in France, is easiest to get certified when the power is limited to 250HP. Knowing how he made the 1:5 RC model, this will probably be executed in carbon fibre– epoxy.
The meeting lasted for about 2 and a half hours, with approximately 50 people attending, which was quite good in fact! With thanks to Thierry Farges and the Retromobile organisation! After the conference there was vivid talk amongst all aviation and Bugatti enthusiasts.
The following day there was a visit to the musée de l’Air et de l’Espace at Le Bourget airport, also in Paris, where about 10 people saw some of the contestants in the coupe Deutsch de le Meurthe, as well as of course the big H32 Breguet - Bugatti T32B engine shown.