• ETC
  • Apr 10, 2013
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.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can't wait to see that thing fly. Amazing!
      Robin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Absolutely gorgeous, but I do have one nitpick -- these are contra-rotating propellers, not counter-rotating propellers. There is actually a big difference -- contra-rotating propellers are two propellers, rotating in opposite directions, on the same axis. Counter-rotating propellers rotate in opposite directions, but are on different axes.
      JayP
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hopefully we won't find out later today the team had actually used copyrighted imagery and just photochopped the pics.
      Brex
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a beautiful craft but, my goodness, it looks pretty unstable.
        IBx27
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brex
        As an aerospace engineer, you want instability on a maneuverable aircraft. A good pilot will compensate for the inherent instability during normal flight while using it to their advantage to toss the plane into tight moves. If you're designing a commercial jet though, you want a lot of stability.
        Robin
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brex
        I thought the same thing -- especially with contra-rotating propellers. I'm no engineer, but there's not much in the way of vertical stabilisation. Perhaps someone who knows something about such things reads Autoblog and could throw their 2ยข in?
      Drakkon
      • 1 Year Ago
      So the car is $1.4 million to buy a serial example, but $50K will help get an AIRPLANE in the sky? Outsourced labor or typo?
      Mark O'Baldwin
      • 1 Year Ago
      So, since nobody makes straight-8 engines any more, are they going w/ 2 V-8s or 2 straight 6s & forego the extra cylinders? Inquiring minds, etc... ;-)
      BG
      • 1 Year Ago
      550 mph with a propeller plane? That would be very hard to achieve, very hard.
        Marc-O
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BG
        I don't see why it's so hard. The old Russian Tupolev 114 did a hair over 540mph in the 1960s... And it was an airliner, not purpose-built for pure speed. And the speed record for piston engines (but with a single engine and a single prop) is currently 528mph...
      Andrew TheBoss
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ettore Bugatti was ITALIAN with a factory in France.
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