Lowell Bayles Granville Model Z Gee Bee
Gee Bee City of Springfield
First Albuquerque Visit: 1931
The Granville Gee Bee Model Z was an American racing aircraft of the early 1930s, the first of the Super Sportster aircraft built by Granville Brothers Aircraft of Springfield, Massachusetts, with the sole intent of winning the Thompson Trophy, which it did in 1931. However, it soon suffered a fatal crash during a world speed record attempt, starting the reputation of the Gee Bee aircraft as killers.
Lowell Richard Bayles (January 24, 1900 – December 5, 1931) was an American air race and stunt pilot from the “Golden Age of Air Racing.” He was killed during an attempt at the landplane speed record on December 5, 1931 when the Model Z he was flying crashed at over 300 miles per hour.
At the 1931 National Air Races, Bayles and the Gee Bee Model Z, christened the “City of Springfield,” won the Thompson Trophy race with an average speed of 236.239 miles per hour.
In 1931, Bayles and the Gee Bee landed and refueled in Albuquerque.
A reproduction of the Gee Bee and was flown in the 1990s, the plane is currently at the Kermit Weeks Museum in Florida.
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