It was almost complete in 1940, when Bugatti had to quit the production of the aircraft. The plane very well hidden away, was never assigned for a mission and it never flew out of its hiding place. John Lawson, a 59-year-old Scottish engineer has started the production of a working replica of the Bugatti 100P; the original plane would have had 2 450 horsepower engines and a 27 ft wingspan. The recreation of the “Bugatti Veyron of the skies” is taking place in Oklahoma, where a team of experts, led by Scottish engineer John Lawson are constantly working to develop the replica of the most advanced planes of its time. The designers believe that if the aircraft had flown, it would have reached 500mph. The record for speed at that time, had been set by German Messerschmitt in 1939, at 469mph.
It was almost complete in 1940, when the Italian designer, Buggati, quit the production of the aircraft, hoping it would not be found by the Nazis. Ettore Bugatti refused to expose the aircraft and decided to hide it from the German military, by packing it into crates and putting it in a barn in the French countryside.
Ettore Bugatti became a French citizen in between the war and was known to dislike the Nazis, whom he wanted to challenge to an aircraft race, known as the Coupe Deutsch. The French government was already aware of the construction of the plane, but because the designers were not able to finish it before the deadline, which was September 1939, the Bugatti 100P never entered the competition. When the World War Two began, the designers decided to hide the plane, the Mail Online reports.
It is believed that the only person inside the Nazi party, who knew about the construction of the aircraft was Albert Speer, one of the Fuhrer’s ministers. Luckily, they never manage to get hold of the technology, as it could have destroyed the Spitfire and win Germany the Second World War. 70 years later, the plane was displayed in a United States museum, too fragile to ever be restored.
John Lawson is a 59-year-old former RAF engineer from Musselburgh, who owns a model making company in Nottingham and previously worked on the Vulcan bomber. He said that the 500mph Bugatti 100P was 85 percent complete when the Second World War began. ‘If it had flown in 1940 then it would have been a revolution. It was an incredible aeroplane and Louis de Monge, who worked on it with Ettore Bugatti, was a brilliant engineer,’ insisted Lawson.