1938 Bugatti 100P – the most elegant plane ever

November 25, 2017

She was conceived by Etorre Bugatti, the Italian exotic carmaker in an age when most aeroplanes were chunky flying washboards. Everything about her was quicksilver clean and aesthetically pleasing – the twin engine manifold was secreted into the mid aft of her fuselage that powered two counter rotating propellers. An innovation at that period. The three spindle gear box was located at the nose section and both drive shafts ran between the pilot thru a single plexiglass clamshell cockpit which allowed for almost perfect aerodynamics. Unheard of at that time. Air intake was routed thru slots at the ‘v’ shaped rear dorsal stabilisers. No other aeroplane was ever configured in that spectacular way at the period.

Conceived primary as a thoroughbred race plane she never made it into the air. A replica was built powered by crowdfunding and flown briefly, but it eventually crashed.

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