The artist/tinkerer/renaissance man’s aeronautical aspirations, however, were likely previously unknown to most.
Shown above is the culmination of Ettore Bugatti’s passion for aviation: the Bugatti 100P. It was designed back in 1939, according to The Verge – decades before one might guess just by looking at it.
But the awesome novelty of the Bugatti 100P doesn’t end with the design; it was technologically-advanced beyond its time, as well. Note, for instance, the forward-swept wings, meant to give the plane superior agility at high speeds. At the nose, you’ll notice two, sequential propellers. These propellers spin in opposite directions, each driven by a separate motor.
Sadly, as fate would have it, the onset of World War II and the subsequent invasion of France by Nazi Germany grounded the Bugatti 100P before it ever attempted a maiden flight. The original was left to decay for some five decades before being restored and promptly stowed in the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States.
Fortunately enough for all lovers of aviation, several years ago, retired Air Force Pilot Scott Wilson led an effort to build a reproduction Bugatti 100P from scratch. The project launched a Kickstarter campaign to secure the funds needed for completion, and the “Reve Bleu” (Blue Dream) replica Bugatti 100P is now complete. The plane has performed taxi tests, and is reportedly ready to take to the skies real soon.
Here’s to hoping this Ettore Bugatti-designed aircraft is actually able to test its mettle.