Oklahoma Man's Bugatti Plane Replica A Journey of Discovery

Friday, June 3rd 2011, 2:26 pm
By: News On 6

Chris Howell, NewsOn6.com

TULSA, Oklahoma -- In a hangar in east Tulsa, Scotty Wilson is building a replica of one of the most famous planes that never flew.

He's building a flying replica of the only airplane ever built by legendary car builder Ettore Bugatti, called the 100P.

"Designed first to be a race plane," explains Wilson.  "On the eve of it being ready to fly when the Germans marched into Paris.  Bugatti was not a fan or the Germans so he hid the plane from them."

The plane remained stashed in a barn for years and now is on display at the Oshkosh Air Museum in Wisconsin.  Though restored, it will never fly due to dry rot.

Wilson had no plans, so he went to Oshkosh to study the original, eventually reverse-engineering it. Now the replica plane is coming together and is expected to fly this fall.

The plane's designer, Louis de Monge, worked with Ettore Bugatti on the 100P, and now over 70 years later, Louis de Monge's great-nephew, Lasislas de Monge, is in Tulsa helping Scotty Wilson complete the project.

"There is a contemporary journey about this plane, to help Scotty to build it because I am a craftsman, and the plane is in wood, that's my way," says de Monge, on a months long trip from Belgium.  "And it's also a journey for me about the family story."

The airplane the two are building is one of remarkable beauty and artistry. The original had five patents for innovations still found in modern aircraft.

For more information on this project, called 'Le Reve Bleu' or the Blue Dream, visit the 100P's web site.