Built for speed, the Wittman D-12, by Sylvester Wittman was the first airplane donated to the EAA Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Wittman built this plane to compete in the 1935 Thompson Trophy Race where it finished second. Held annually, the Thompson Trophy Race was a closed coarse pylon race for airplanes of “unlimited size and power”. Capable of 325 miles an hour, faster than most US fighters of the time, “Bonzo” was a respected competitor. Its home-built design featured wings with closely spaced ribs so that fabric could be used instead of plywood. This gave the plane a light-weight yet sturdy construction, which helped compensate for its lack of power. Personally, the sleek laid-back design grabbed my attention more quickly than the other racers displayed in the museum.
For more information on this plane, please see: Wittman D-12 Bonzo