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Marek Halas
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Planet Models 1/48 Bugatti 100P

March 20, 2013 · in Aviation · · 22 · 5.4K

I had a fascination for this aircraft ever since I heard the stories that had attempted to build a plane aimed at taking on the world speed record for 1939/1940. This was a very radical design, using forward swept wings, a butterfly tail and two 500hp Bugatti car engines mounted in tandem behind the pilot and driving a pair of contra-rotating propellers via two prop-shafts running either side of the pilot to the front of the aircraft.

All this from a company that had never built a plane before, what could possibly go wrong?

Needless to say they never finished it before the German armies rocked up in France in 1940.

The airframe remained hidden until rediscovered some thirty or so years later, and the restored (engineless I think) example is in the Oshkosh museum...

As for the kit itself, well this was my first foray into building a resin kit. I can recommend it for those new to the medium being very straightforward, (for a limited run kit that is). Included are two vac-formed canopies & white metal undercarriage. I replaced half the white metal landing gear with brass tube, and added a bit more detail in the form of the retraction struts.

The cockpit has a bit of wiring added to it, and a scratch built throttle. The upper engine inspection panels were mysteriously not included in the kit as were the front air intake ducts so they also had to be fabricated.

No markings were provided and it is assumed that the plane would have been finished in "Bugatti blue". Otherwise known as Tamiya Sky Blue X-14. I hope you enjoy viewing the pictures, for the build photos checkout my Facebook page.

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

22 responses

  1. Now...there's something you don't see every day...
    Pretty cool man, i like this!

  2. The original was found & bought by a Bugatti nut that just wanted the engines, he took those and binned the rest of it, someone else found it and eventually it was donated to the EAA.
    There's a full scale replica under construction that should fly this year.

    • I found that replica builder site you mentioned really interesting when I was working on the project. There was also someone on the web that has done a radio-controlled version, not sure what scale, but from the video it seemed to fly pretty well.

  3. Really nice job on that kit. I am not an engineer, but something doesn't look quite right about the plane. I really wonder how it would have flown. I guess the replica will give us an idea if it does actually fly.

    • Yeah, I've wondered about the airflow over the horizontal tail surfaces & their efficiency with those big intakes in the leading edges.

    • Hmmm, maybe not a world speed record breaker then? Ah well we'll see what happens when the real thing takes to the air. Didn't really take note of those air intakes as an issue, I was rather more concerned about the combined tail skid and rudder the finer design details of which looked a tad vague.

  4. I've seen the real article at the EAA Museum in Oshkosh. I was stunned to discover it there, but Dave Shirley did a beautiful model of it a few years pervious so i was aware it existed. Surprised to learn it survived.

  5. Very nice finish on this unusual but good looking plane.

  6. Wow! Italian design- is something!

  7. It looks like something out of a 1930s science fiction novel. What a beauty! And what excellent work you did on it.

  8. This is fantastic! Exotic beauty.

  9. I forgot to mention it earlier.
    To be official, it's full name was the Bugatti du Monge 100P.
    Very nicely done.

    • Thanks for that bit of info, I actually can't recall coming across it being referred to as the "du Monge 100P". Incidentally the story of the plane & the mis-fortunes of Bugatti are crying out for a book to be written. All I could find was scattered bits of information on the web when doing a bit of background research.

  10. Beautiful work!

  11. It's unique, that's for sure - and well done, I might add. I assume (since I know nothing of the aircraft) that those 'intakes' on the tail plane leading edges are possibly radiators [a/c powered by car engines]..?
    One thing I noticed looking over the pics, though. Only one photograph depicts the counter-rotating props you mentioned. All others have just the one. All in all, a very nice build of a one-of-a-kind air racer. Kudos, sir.

    • Craig, the tail intakes brought in cooling air, turned it forward, ran it through the cooling matrix behind the rear engine then sent it out through the gills at the trailing edge of the wing root.
      Re. the props, there were two 2 blade props, the rear engine turned the front prop, the front engine turned the rear prop.
      Marek has his posed so that it looks like a single 4 blade prop.

      • Oh I see it. There ARE two individual spinners. That one pic confused me (which isn't hard to do). Thanks, Bill.

        • Planet Models had both spinners as a one piece casting, & bearing in mind this kit is small at 1/48, the spinner was relatively tiny! I wasn't game enough to take a razor saw to it & split the props, though on reflection it would add to the narrative of how the plane works.

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