In 1988, Larry Tate, Bob Martin, John Hanks, Jerry Leciej, Bob Whelan and J.T. Scott built a 1/3rd scale replica of the Curtiss R3C2 Schneider Trophy Racer that Jimmy Doolittle won the 1925 Schneider Trophy race. It was built as a promotional vehicle for the first ever Giant Scale Schneider Cup Re-Enactment. Prior to the first event, it was sold to HL Skates (Penn Int'l Chem) and competed in the 1989 Schneider Cup Re-enactment event in Lake Havasu, AZ and appeared on the cover of many RC magazines. It won the 1990 event but never returned to defend its' championship in the Schneider Cup Re-enactment.
As one of the original builders, I am please to chronicle the following journey:
It has been 18 years since this storied airplane won the Schneider Cup Re-Enactment and disappeared. Initially it hung in a hobby shop, but when the hobby shop closed, the fate of the Curtiss was unknown until recently when it was discovered that it was hanging in a storage unit in Mountain View, Ca.
I am very pleased and excited to announce that the 1/3rd scale Curtiss R3C-2 used as the promotional vehicle for the Schneider Cup Re-Enactment has been found, purchased and returned home to Lake Havasu City.
My sincere thanks to Jim Vice for informing us as to who the owner was, Reggie Dell-Aquila who had owned it for the past 10 plus years and allowing us to purchase it back and most importantly Jim and Scott of Xtreme Power Systems of Lake Havasu City for making it possible.
This addition to the Schneider Cup website will chronicle the discovery, recovery and transition of this historic airplane into a modern state of the art RC electric show piece.
The 1/3rd Scale Curtiss R3C-2 Returns Home 12345678Next
After locating the missing Curtiss, negotions were underway to purchase the aircraft back from the current owner. Reggie Dell-Aquila, the owner, was somewhat reluctant to part with the Curtiss. Although he owns many big and expensive aircraft, the Curtiss represented a historic place in RC history. He eventually was persuaded to sell the Curtiss to us and John Hanks and I made plans to drive 600 miles to Mountain View, Ca. to transport the Curtiss home.
Reggie was kind enough to give us measurements of the Curtiss so we would make sure we could get the Curtiss inside a vehicle without removing the floats. The Curtiss is 90 inches long, 38 inches wide and 43 inched high with the wings off.
Johns truck was long enough, but the shell was only 39 inches high. My Dodge Grand Caravan was tall enough, but if Reg was off more than a couple of inches in length, we would be in trouble. As it turned out, we had about 1 inch to spare.
On July 9th, 2009, 6 am John and I left Lake Havasu City, AZ. and headed west to Barstow, CA. Our trip would take us through Mohave and Bakersfield before turning north on I-5, near Los Banos we head west over the Pacheco Pass to Gilroy, north again through San Jose and on to Mountain View. We had called Reggie and apprised him of our approximate arrival time and he was waiting for us at the storage facility.
She seemed to have weathered these past twenty years better than we had. We also felt she was saying "get me down, get this dust off me and lets go home." She was covered with 10 plus years of dust so Reggie, John and I began removing as much dust as possible. She was still dirty, but we were taking her home and would give her a proper bath and polish once we get home to Lake Havasu.
Return often as this saga continues I will update the progress of our Curtiss project.