Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 6, 2013.

Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

Global volunteer group recreates Bugatti's "Blue Dream" more than 70 years after the unfinished plane was hidden behind enemy lines.

Help us inspire the next generation of artists and engineers...

Ettore Bugatti's Type 57 Atlantic and the 100P (EAA Photo)
Ettore Bugatti's Type 57 Atlantic and the 100P (EAA Photo)

Bugatti's Only Aeroplane

Ettore Bugatti was a master at fusing art and technology. He built eight-thousand exquisite automobiles, but he built only one aeroplane. The Bugatti 100P - designed by Belgian engineer Louis de Monge - was an art-deco classic and the most technologically-advanced airplane of its time.

1937 Drawing (Courtesy the Bugatti Trust)
1937 Drawing (Courtesy the Bugatti Trust)

The Elegant Solution to Flying Very Fast!

The innovative Bugatti 100P was a giant leap forward in the late 1930s, featuring advanced systems and cutting-edge aerodynamics. The record-setting 100P would have saved Bugatti's manufacturing empire and restored de Monge's reputation as a world-class aeronautical engineer.

Both men dreamed of setting a new world speed record with the plane.

Paris, 1940 (Courtesy Jaap Horst)
Paris, 1940 (Courtesy Jaap Horst)

Rue de Débarcadèr, Paris 1940

Under construction for three years, the Bugatti 100P was nearly complete when the war reached Paris.  Desperate to save the plane and its secrets from the rapidly-approaching enemy, Bugatti and colleague Louis de Monge smuggled the plane out of Paris under the cover of darkness and hid it in a barn. 

Bugatti 100P, possibly in La Ferté-Alais during the late 1960s (Courtesy EAA)
Bugatti 100P, possibly in La Ferté-Alais during the late 1960s (Courtesy EAA)

The plane survived the war intact, but fell victim to the elements and was all but forgotten for fifty years.

Scotty Wilson photo.
Scotty Wilson photo.

Now restored, the plane is displayed at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It is the most popular exhibit at the Museum.

The plane never flew and cannot be made flyable. Few know it exists, and almost no one knows the compelling story of wartime intrigue behind Bugatti's "Blue Dream".

Scotty Wilson photo.
Scotty Wilson photo.

Tulsa, 2013

No one has ever attempted to build and fly a reproduction Bugatti 100P; it's really hard and it's very expensive. And since there are no known structural drawings, we've had to reverse-engineer almost everything. Those efforts paid off; our 100P so closely mirrors the original that some parts are interchangeable!

Under construction for over three years, our Bugatti 100P is nearly complete. Those of us who have watched it take shape agree that the plane's timeless beauty and advanced features are testament to Bugatti's and de Monge's vision and creative genius.

"Crowd-Powered" by a Global Volunteer Team

The project's wide appeal has attracted scores of volunteers from eleven countries across four continents who are contributing time, materials, and technical expertise to bring Bugatti's dream to life. The airframe is being built in the US; the propellers were designed in Sweden and made in Great Britain, as was the complex propeller gearbox;  aerodynamic studies are underway in Brazil; we have engineering consultants in France and Germany.

Ladislas de Monge in Tulsa, June 2011 (Scotty Wilson photo)
Ladislas de Monge in Tulsa, June 2011 (Scotty Wilson photo)

Even the de Monge family - they still live near Namur, Belgium - is involved. Grand-nephews Ladislas and Paul-Benoit have helped with construction; Ladislas spent three months here in 2011!

Why we need Your Help!

In 2013 it's not war but money that stands between us and the first flight of Bugatti's only aeroplane.

Construction is 90% complete, but the most complex, expensive, and labor-intensive tasks lay ahead.

We are completely self-funded, debt-free, and have no corporate sponsors, but we've reached the practical limit of our resources. With your help we can accelerate construction; complete tests; obtain the plane's airworthiness certification; and build the plane's transportation dolly. This will get us to the "first flight" stage by the end of September, 2013.

If we surpass our goal, we'll enter the rigorous 40-hour flight test program and complete the book and documentary already underway in the US and in Belgium.

Remember that the project's overarching theme is to inspire and encourage the next generation of artists and engineers. After we fly the plane, we'll find a way to bring the plane and its story to a city near you!

Rewards

Make a donation in any amount and we'll add your country's flag to our display (if it's not already represented). 

Reward #1

USD $10 - Bugatti 100P Download

Bugatti 100P by "Pete" West
Bugatti 100P by "Pete" West

Reward #2

USD $10 - Gearbox Download

Bugatti 100P Gearbox by John Lawson and Stuart Holden
Bugatti 100P Gearbox by John Lawson and Stuart Holden

We'll send you a link to download high-resolution images of the plane or its complex gearbox. Print them or make one of them your computer's background image.

Reward #3

USD $25 - Name Engraved on Cockpit Deck

Your Name Here!
Your Name Here!

Everyone who has worked on the project has signed it, and we'll engrave your name on the cockpit deck plate as our way of saying "thank you " for your help. Your name will be visible to everyone through the canopy glass. You'll be with us in spirit on the first flight and your name will be a permanent part of the display.

We'll post a high-resolution photograph of the deck once the engraving is complete!

Reward #4

USD $75 - Live Video Feed

View From Pilot's Seat
View From Pilot's Seat

You'll get a link that will allow you access to a live video feed from the cockpit on selected ground tests; high speed taxi runs, and first test flights. You'll see what we'll see - as it happens! We'll record the broadcast in case you miss the live transmission.

Reward #4.25

USD $99 Early Engineering Drawing

Avion de Course, 1937 (Courtesy The Bugatti Trust)
Avion de Course, 1937 (Courtesy The Bugatti Trust)

Dated September 1937, Avion de Course (Drawing 1100) is the companion piece to the drawing below.

This includes Rewards #3 and #4.

Printed on high-quality paper, this print measures approximately 12" X 36" (300 mm X 900 mm).

Reward # 4.5

USD $100 Early Engineering Drawing

Avion de Course, 1937 (Courtesy The Bugatti Trust)
Avion de Course, 1937 (Courtesy The Bugatti Trust)

Dated September 1937, Avion de Course (Drawing 1101) is the earliest known de Monge drawing that depicts the Bugatti 100P's final configuration, including the swept-forward wings; engine placement; and internal radiator. This is the plane de Monge describes in his last interview in 1977: a single-purpose airplane designed to set a world speed record.

This includes Rewards #3 and #4.

Printed on high-quality paper, this print measures approximately 24" X 36" (600 mm X 900 mm).

USD $150 to $2000 - Phil West Original Art

Had the war not interrupted the Bugatti 100P's development, its first flight might have looked something like this:

Phil West Original Painting "First Flight"
Phil West Original Painting "First Flight"

"Famed WWI fighter ace Maurice Arnoux streaks past Ettoré Bugatti, son Jean, and Louis de Monge during the Bugatti 100P's first flight at Étampes Airfield."

We commissioned noted aviation artist Phil West to create this stunning painting (currently in work) of "what might have been" had the war not interrupted the Bugatti 100P's development. We offer it as a lithograph or Giclée print.

Reward #5

USD $150 - "First Flight" Primary Limited-Edition Lithograph

Numbered and signed by the Bugatti Team members and artist Phil West.

Size: Approximately 500 mm X 700 mm.

Reward #6

USD $250 - "First Flight" Special Collector's Edition Giclée Print

Numbered and signed by the Bugatti Team members and artist Phil West.

Size: Approximately 500 mm X 700 mm.

Reward #7

USD $600 - Model

Prototype 1/32 Scale Model
Prototype 1/32 Scale Model

JLawson Modelmakers is putting the final touches on a model created especially for Kickstarter.  Each of the 20 limited-edition models comes with a specially-designed commemorative base, each numbered and signed by both John Lawson and Scotty Wilson. It is the only accurate and detailed Bugatti 100P model available.

The model has a wingspan of approximately 10" (25 cm).

Please note the model shown above is a prototype reflective of the 100P on display at the EAA AirVenture Museum. The final product will reflect how the plane looked just prior to being disassembled in June 1940 (i.e. the cockpit was not painted red).

Reward #8

USD  $1000 - "First Flight" Special Edition

We'll carry 25 copies of Phil West's "First Flight" Giclée prints on board during our own "first flight". Each will be numbered and signed by the Bugatti Team members and artist Phil West. Each comes with a letter of authenticity.

Size: Approximately 500 mm X 700 mm.

Reward #9 USD $2000 - Original Pencil Drawing

"First Flight" - original pencil drawing by Phil West
"First Flight" - original pencil drawing by Phil West

You can own Phil West's original pencil drawing, the foundational work for his stunning "First Flight" painting. 

This A3-sized drawing  (297mm x420mm) is on 250gsm 'Daler Rowney' Bristol Board, mount carded and backed ready for framing.

Reward #10

USD - $5000 Ground and Test Flight Pit Crew

You'll have to make your own way to Tulsa, Oklahoma but once here we'll transport you to the test site and cover your lodging and meals during your five-day, four-night stay. You'll be an integral part of the team...so come prepared to work!

Yes, it's difficult to predict when we'll enter the test flight stage (probably September 2013) and you'll have to be prepared to travel on short notice. We think it will be worth the price!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

This project has risks!

Even today, the Bugatti 100P would be seen as a high-performance, highly complex, state-of-the-art aeroplane. Today, we might call it a "technology demonstrator". Accordingly, this project has risks commensurate with the challenges of bringing such an aeroplane to life.

To the extent possible, we've mitigated those risks by reaching out to a global audience packed with aviation professionals and talented members of the lay community: pilots; mechanics; engineers; scholars. We have commitments from technology companies to help us with the few remaining technical challenges. We've tested the plane's structure (it's very strong) and a major university is compiling the results of the plane's aerodynamic qualities. We've always been fully transparent and we encourage peer review.

Federal Aviation Administration representatives have monitored construction since the project started in 2009. We have a Designated Airworthiness Representative - an aeronautical engineer - on our staff.

We accept the remaining risks as the price of discovery on this amazing journey.

FAQ

584
Backers
$62,512
pledged of $50,000 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    55 backers

    Reward #1: Downloadable, high-resolution image of airplane.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    16 backers

    Reward #2: Downloadable, high-resolution image of gearbox.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    284 backers

    Reward #3: Your name laser-engraved on the cockpit deck plate, in full view under the canopy. You'll be "on-board" for the first flight and the deck plate will be a permanent part of the exhibit.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $75 or more
    You selected

    32 backers

    Reward #4: Exclusive access to live video feed of ground tests and first flights. Tests anticipated to begin in September 2013. Includes Reward 3

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $99 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    Reward # 4.25: Drawing 1100 - the profile view of the Bugatti 100P - is the companion to the plan-form view de Monge created in 1937.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    59 backers

    Reward # 4.5 : The earliest known drawing of the Bugatti 100P's established the plane's configuration no later than September 1937.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $150 or more
    You selected

    45 backers Limited (455 left of 500)

    Reward #5: "First Flight" limited edition lithograph by Phil West. Includes Rewards 3 and 4.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $250 or more
    You selected

    21 backers Limited (29 left of 50)

    Reward #6: "First Flight" Special Collector's Edition Giclee prints by Phil West. Includes Rewards 3 and 4.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $600 or more
    You selected

    20 backers All gone!

    Reward #7: 1/32 Scale Model of the Bugatti 100P. Includes Rewards 3 and 4.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    3 backers Limited (22 left of 25)

    Reward #8 Special Collector's Edition Giclee print "First Flight" by Phil West, carried aboard during our first flight. Includes Rewards 3 and 4.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $2,000 or more
    You selected

    1 backer All gone!

    Reward #9: Phil West original pencil drawing used as foundation work for "First Flight" painting. Includes Rewards 3 and 4.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $5,000 or more
    You selected

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Reward #10: Pit Crew - Flight Test. Includes Rewards 3 and 4 plus much, much more.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)