This cobalt plane dubbed The Blue Dream (le Reve Bleu or il Sogno Blu) could have changed the course of the second World War, had it been finished on time: Ettore Bugatti and Louis de Monge’s Bugatti 100P (pictured) reached the prototype stage in June 1940, and was quickly hidden away from the Nazis in the French countryside.
70 years later, a group of passionates from all over the world has joined forces and completed an ambitious project funded on Kickstarter, to build and fly the blue plane that could have outperformed the Spitfire. Since August 2015, the Blue Dream is flying!
In the 1920s, Ettore Bugatti was a prominent personality and a successful entrepreneur who took the sports car racing industry by storm. An Italian living in France, bella figura and bon vivant, his blue automobiles would dazzle the public at Monaco and Le Mans competitions.
His most successful model was the Bugatti Type 35, that won the Targa Florio (Sicily) for five consecutive years from 1925 to 1929, also taking the Grand Prix World Championship in 1926. The Type 35C won the French Grand Prix in 1929 and again in 1930.
Bugatti’s passion for speed reaching far beyond the automobile world, he invited renown Belgian engineer Louis de Monge to think of a plane built around the racing car’s engine.
Originally an air racer designed to compete in the 1939 Deutsch de la Meurthe Cup Race, the Bugatti 100P was not only superfast, but also light and elegant: a Blue Dream
‘Designed from the outset to be fast, it would have most likely been the fastest thing in the skies with a projected top speed of almost 500MPH [over 800 km per hour]. It was an elegant response to the challenge of flying fast, being designed to achieve record-setting speeds by finesse instead of through brute force.’ – Bugatti 100p Project
Had the war not stopped its production, this prototype airplane built around a race-car engine would have been a technological breakthrough. As the German army marched on Paris in the summer of 1940, the promising aircraft was dismantled and hidden away by fear of seeing it falling into enemies hands.
Forgotten after the disparition of Ettore Bugatti and Louis de Monge, the plane was sold and shipped to the US in the 1960s. It was finally donated to the Experimental Aircraft Association, who displays the plane in its AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
‘It is the extraordinary Bugatti 100P that attracts the most interest – and is the source of more inquiries – than any other exhibit in this fully-accredited and highly-rated museum’ – Experimental Aircraft Association
August 2015 report – the Blue Dream Bugatti 100P is flying!
They made it! An international team of history and aviation passionates has succeeded in building and flying a replica of the Bugatti 100P. Led by Scotty Wilson, a retired US Airforce fighter pilot, the team called for funds, volunteers and support and even started a Quickstarter project in 2013 to bring a small but timely contribution to the project.
Enthusiasts from eleven countries across 4 continents have answered, including Louis de Monge’s grand-nephews, and after years of efforts, the first flight of the Blue Dream happened in August 2015 (watch videos).
To stay tuned, follow the Bugatti 100P project on facebook.
What’s next? The Blue Dream is a plane with a colorful story and its first flight is only a new milestone in its incredible destiny. To be continued.
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