Bugatti (proposed) Model 110P, French 1939

Bugatti to any automobile racing buff means automotive royalty. Yet few auto aficionados or aviation historians are aware of Bugatti's efforts with an aircraft known as the Model 100.

Louis deMonge, the genius Belgian engineer, was hired by Bugatti to design an all-wood speed-record aircraft capable of surpassing the German record held in 1939 by a specially modified Me 109 at 469 mph. The Model 100, if successful in its record attempt, was to be followed by a French Air Ministry contract to build a light-weight pursuit fighter to be known as the Model 110P. As the Paris area fell in 1940, the aircraft was unable to be flight tested. Never discovered by the German forces, it remained in France until some 40 years later when it was moved to the USA. It currently resides in the EAA Air Venture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

This painting attempts to capture what this Model 110P fighter may have looked like, based on the speed record Model 100, and how it may have fought in the Battle of France in 1940 against invading Nazi bombers. The camouflage colors and markings of the 1st Squadron Fighting Group 1/2 Armee de I'Air are representative of French fighters of that era.