Child’s pedal plane made by Airflow Collectibles of California and based on the famous Gee Bee Super Sportster racing aeroplane launched in 1932 by Granville Brothers Aircraft of Springfield, Illinois (Gee Bee standing for Granville Brothers). This pedal plane is of all metal construction and measures 45” long by 35” wide. A sticker inside the fuselage states that it is suitable for children from the ages of 4 to 7. The propeller should rotate in time with the pedals but the rubber band connecting the prop to the pedals is missing on this example. The year of manufacture is not known but is possibly quite recent.
A very unusual design, the Gee Bee Super Sportster had a tear-drop shaped fuselage with short, stubby wings and was very fast and manouverable, winning many air races and setting a new world landplane speed record of 296mph in the 1932 Shell Speed Dash, piloted by Jimmy Doolittle. It was also notoriously difficult to fly – the small control surfaces and stubby fuselage made it inherently unstable and difficult to land. Demanding great skill from the pilots, several of whom lost their lives, the Gee Bee earned a reputation as “the most dangerous aircraft ever built”. Best to keep this one on the ground then…