Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"The Goon" air racer, 1938

 The "The Goon", named after the Popeye character was designed and built by Art Chester for the 1938 National Air Races. It was of conventional construction with a fabric-covered steel tube frame.  The 290 hp Menasco 6 cylinder engine was mated to a custom-built Ratier two-position variable-pitch propeller and the aircraft sported hydraulic retractable landing gear. The large fuel tanks are located in front of the pilot. Due to delays in the the delivery of the propeller the aircraft was first flown only days before the race date.
  During the 200 mile race, the aircraft suffered oil leaks, which covered the windshield, causing the craft to finish 2nd.
The next year, in the Greve trophy race at  Cleveland, the Chester Goon was the winner with an average speed of 263.39 mph in an abbreviated field. War put an end to air racing and the plane was never raced again. The Crawford Museum in Cleveland acquired the aircraft in 1991 but as of 2016 was not yet on display.

Images from  The Art Chester Story, by John W Caler w John Underwood, John W. Caler Pub. 1968

No comments: