Bugatti 100p Project


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All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: 
but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO (16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935), better known as Lawrence of Arabia

Fuselage and wing spar under construction in Paris circa 1939
EAA Archival Photos courtesy of Ron Twellman

LE RÊVE BLEU                                                  IL SOGNO BLU                                                              THE BLUE DREAM

Our MISSION is to build and fly a replica of the Bugatti 100P, the most elegant and technologically-advanced airplane of its time

Our VISION is to recreate – and share with others – the brief period in the late 1930s when Ettore Bugatti and Louis de Monge collaborated to create this singularly unique airplane

Our VALUES include a commitment to honoring the memory of those who designed and built this plane

Bugatti 100p project team

Why would anyone undertake to build a replica of an airplane that never flew and for which there are no known plans and few relevant drawings? We could make a good argument for building a replica Bugatti 100P based solely upon its heritage. After all, Ettore Bugatti built only one airplane. 

But there is more to this airplane than its link to Ettore Bugatti, who collaborated with Louis de Monge on what was to be the last major project for either man.  

The Bugatti 100P – an art-deco masterpiece – is arguably the most elegant airplane ever designed. It was also the most technologically-advanced airplane of its time. Designed initially to set a world speed record and to compete in the prestigious Coupe Deutsch air race, the plane also met the criteria for a light-weight fighter and might have been the first technology demonstrator. Had it flown in the summer of 1940, it would be seen today as an historically-significant aircraft; elements of the plane’s most notable features, well established by mid-1937, predate the development of the best Allied fighters of World War II. 

Hidden from view for much of the late 20th Century, few enthusiasts know about or have seen this remarkable machine. The original airplane – restored but not airworthy – is too fragile to tour, limiting its exposure to those few who visit the AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The only way we can revisit the classic era of aviation and fly this airplane is to recreate the Bugatti 100P ourselves and share that experience with enthusiasts everywhere!

We started building the replica 100P on 1 July 2009, and have met every major construction milestone. We expect to conduct initial test flights in the summer of 2012, and hope to bring the replica Bugatti 100P to Europe later in 2012 for a two-year tour.