James Haizlip Wedell-Williams Model 44 No. 92
Skyhawk “Red Baron”
First Albuquerque Visit: 1932
The Wedell-Williams Model 44 is a racing aircraft built in the United States in the early 1930s by the Wedell-Williams Air Service Corporation. Only four examples of the Model 44 were manufactured and each was powered by a large radial engine which made the Model 44 the dominant racing plane of the 1930s The aircraft set many records including a new world speed record in 1933.
The second plane manufactured was the No.92. This aircraft was retained by the Wedel-Williams Corporation and flown by various pilots including Jimmy Haizlip, one of the more successful Wedell-Williams racing pilots.
James “Jimmy” Guy Haizlip (9 January 1896- 8 December 1983) was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He registered for military service in 1918 and became notable for his World War I service. After serving as a flight instructor in France during the war, he returned to Norman, Oklahoma, where he opened a flight school and eventually met his future wife, Mary. In 1929 he became a pilot for Safeway Airlines and the following year joined his friend and fellow racer Jimmy Doolittle at the Shell Oil Company.
At less than five feet tall, Jimmy was by far the smallest racing pilot of his day. After modest success in racing airplanes on his own, Haizlip was the first contracted to fly the Wedell-Williams “No.92″ in 1932. Part of the agreement between Haizlip and Harry Williams was that if he won the Bendix Trophy race, his wife Mary, an accomplished racing pilot herself, and the second woman ever to hold a commercial pilot’s license, would be allowed fly the “92” in the women’s events of the day. A hesitant Williams agreed and eventually became Mary Haizlip’s greatest fan after she set the new women’s speed record at 255 miles per hour.
Haizlip won the famed Bendix Race of 1932. Mary then competed in eight races in the “92,” and finished first once and second seven times. She later became a test pilot for the American Eagle Company and the Spartan Aircraft Company, and was later named the chief test pilot for the Buhl Aircraft Company.
Jimmy Haizlip stopped in Albuquerque with the Wedell-Williams Model 44 “92”, NR-536V, during the 1932 Bendix Race to refuel his racer. He went on to win the Bendix Trophy Race and then placed 4th in the Thompson Trophy race later that year.
SEARCH OUR DATABASE: