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Laird Super Solution Replica

FIRST FLIGHT


December 6, 2000
Puyallup, Washington

Aviation history lives again in the small town of Puyallup, Washington. When pilot Jim Moss took to the air in his classic biplane early this month he turned the clock back nearly 70 years.

The airplane is an exact replica of the Laird Super Solution, in which Jimmy Doolittle won the 1931 Bendix Trophy race and set a new cross country record. [click here to read more about this race and the construction process of the replica]

There was only one Laird Super Solution built in 1931 and it took 15 men only 40 days to complete. The "next one off the line" came nearly 70 years later and was completed over a two and a half year period by Moss and up to 14 others. Moss estimates there are over 10,000 man hours in this historic flying replica.

According to Moss, the airplane is an exact replica of the original, down to to the same Pratt & Whitney 950 450 HP radial engine. The only concessions to modernization are a set of Cleveland Brakes and an additional landing wire.

As well as building and flying classic airplanes, Moss has been an air show pilot on the west coast show circuit and is also a noted sculptor of race horses and polo ponies. His works have been displayed at the Kentucky Derby Hall of Fame.

With the growing fleet of "Golden Era of Air Racing" replicas either flying or nearing flight status, we asked Jim Moss what his plans for the racer were. "I have no plans except to fly it around to fly the time off it" replied artist and pilot Moss.

As to whether he would participate in any potential classic air race demonstrations with other replicas now flying, or make air show appearances with the airplane, Moss told us: "Well that's always up for grabs" adding "I’m not going to actively campaign it [at air shows] but I will probably accept appearance fees."

The airplane made one airshow appearance even before it was completed. Trucked to Oshkosh for the EAA's AirVenture 2000 gathering (as seen in the photos on this page) the potential for show appearances seems promising.

We would like to extend a sincere thank you to Jim Moss for sharing his time with us so we could bring you this report. We would also like to thank Tom Jensen and Bela Havasreti for allowing us to process and show the video of the first flight of the Laird Super Solution Replica on December 6, 2000!

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