Race planes of the 1930s' - The Folkerts SK-2

By Willie Bodenstein


Designed by Clayton Folkerts, Harold Neumann and Ted Forden the Folkerts SK-2, also known as Speed King Two, "Toots" and "Miss Detroit" was an American race plane built for the 1936 National Air Races for TWA pilot Harold Neumann.

The National Air Races (also known as Pulitzer Trophy Races) are a series of pylon and cross-country races that have taken place in the United States since 1920. The science of aviation, and the speed and reliability of aircraft and engines grew rapidly during this period; the National Air Races were both a proving ground and showcase for this.

Starting in 1929, the races that ran for up to 10 days, usually from late August to early September ran until 1939 and went on hiatus because of WWII. The races included a variety of events, including cross-country races. The more popular events were the Thompson Trophy Races which started in 1929; a closed-course race where aviators raced their planes around pylons; and the Bendix Trophy Race across most of the USA starting in 1931.

A single seat mid wing aircraft the SkK-2 was a was built of welded steel tube with aircraft fabric covering and the wings were made with spruce spars and plywood covering. A conventional geared aircraft with crank activated retractable landing gear and trailing edge flaps she was powered by a 185 hp (138 kW) ◊ Menasco C4S 363 cubic inch, inline, supercharged four-cylinder engine that drove a engine 2-bladed Fahlin propeller that gave her a maximum speed of 202 kn (233 mph, 375 km/h).

In the 1936 National Air Races, Harold Neumann won three firsts, two seconds, and placed fourth in the Thompson Trophy race. At the 1937 National Air Races, she was renamed "Miss Detroit" and with pilot Roger Don Rae was placed three seconds and one fourth place.

In the 1938 Oakland Air Races, the rear fuselage was metalized. Pilot Gus Gotch was chosen as pilot; he entered a spin on a pylon turn and was killed when the aircraft struck the bay.[3] The cause was undetermined.

Classic Aircraft

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