Replica Bugatti 100P Plane Tragically Crashes Near Oklahoma

Bugatti 100 on display. 	FlugKerl2 / Wikipedia . CC BY-SA 3.0
Bugatti 100 on display. FlugKerl2 / Wikipedia . CC BY-SA 3.0

Scotty Wilson, a highly experienced pilot, was readying his Bugatti 100P airplane for a test flight on the 6th August 2016. It was a clear morning, flying conditions seemed optimal, and a small crowd of enthusiasts had even gathered to watch the flight. However, not one minute after they had watched the little wooden plane take to the air, it banked left and nose dived into a bean field near the Clinton-Sherman Air Field near Burns Flat, Oklahoma.

Test flights always have a chase plane as support and the chase helicopter landed immediately, but could do nothing for the pilot; it is assumed he died on impact. The stunned family and friends of Scotty Wilson could do nothing as they watched the little plane burn to a pile of ashes.

Stan Shumway, Wilson’s assistant crew chief summed it up perfectly when he said, “Of course everybody is in a state of shock. It’s not every day you see a friend go down like that. We don’t know what happened. We will try to find that out as time goes on.”

Wilson had been constructing the replica of Etorre Bugatti’s original design for the past seven years. In the late 1930s Bugatti designed a light, fast fighter but due to the outbreak of WWII the plans to build it were shelved, and the project abandoned. That was until Wilson decided to bring the plane into the daylight.

Wilson had said, “I call it the most historically significant airplane that never flew,” and he was determined to create this fighter. He consulted many experts worldwide, dedicated both his professional and personal life to the project and collected funds from all over the world to build the plane.

The Bugatti was destined to be placed on permanent display at an air museum in Britain, but sadly it is now a pile of ashes in a field near Oklahoma. Everyone hopes that the pending investigation to be carried out by the National Transportation Safety Board will reveal the reason for the crash.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE