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This Incredible Plane: The Pond Racer

A David vs. Goliath story that unfolded at better than 400 mph in the high desert.

The Pond Racer
The Pond Racer

Since the return of postwar air racing in 1947, the unlimited division has been dominated by World War II fighters. However, many of these precious airframes have been lost to extreme modifications or accidents over the years. Enter Bob Pond, former Navy pilot and warbird collector, with a better idea. To save these increasingly scarce airframes, he commissioned an incredibly unique unlimited competitor, the Pond Racer.

Bob’s two conditions were no conventional aircraft engines were to be used, along with warbird airframes. So, who do you turn to when you need to challenge conventional thinking? The Rutan brothers, of course! Dick Rutan, fresh off his history-making round-the-world flight, managed the project for Scaled Composites and served as chief test pilot, and brother Burt led the design team.

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