Ettore Bugatti, the automobile designer behind the Automobiles E. Bugatti nameplate, was famed for his engine and vehicle designs. Yet few realize that the Frenchman also worked on a spectacular twin-engine racing aircraft, intended to compete in the 1939 Deutsch de la Meurthe Cup Race, called the 100P. Designed by Louis de Monge, the low wing monoplane featured two engines, both mounted aft of the pilot (nearly end-to-end), driving twin counter rotating propellers through long drive shafts. To achieve its maximum speed, estimated at nearly 550 miles per hour, it was fitted with two powerful inline eight-cylinder engines each making about 450 horsepower.
Sadly, the plane never took flight. Instead, the one-of-a-kind aircraft spent World War II slowly rotting in a French barn, hidden from the Germans. Restored today, but not in flying condition, Bugatti's original 100P sits in the Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, WI.
Seven decades after the original mostly balsa and hardwood aircraft was locked away, businessman Scotty Wilson is leading a team (including Louis de Monge's great-nephew, Lasislas de Monge) intent on seeing an exact replica of Bugatti's 100P "Blue Dream" take to the sky. And that is where Kickstarter comes into play...
After three years of self-funded work, the team is 90 percent done. However, big obstacles remain in its path (e.g., testing, certification and a transportation dolly). The Bugatti100p team is hoping to raise $50,000 to push the program forward. If successful, Bugatti's dream could take flight as soon as September. Here's a direct link to the Reve Bleu Kickstarter page, worthy of a visit even if only to check out the interesting pictures. There's also a project video to enjoy, below.