Race planes of the thirties - the Rider R-6

By Willie Bodenstein


The R-6 Eight Ball is a single place, all-wood low-wing retractable landing gear monoplane designed by Keith Rider in 1938 and built by the Union Aircraft Company in the USA. It was the last of the Rider racers, as well as the first and last of Rider's new company Union Aircraft Company before World War II intervened, stopping the National Air Races.

In the 1938 Louis W. Greve Trophy Race the Eight Ball competed against two other Rider designs, the "Firecracker" and the "Jackrabbit". Pilot Joe Jacobson placed third with a speed of 218.478 mph. In the 1938 Thompson Trophy Eight Ball dropped out in the 27th lap and in the 1939 National Air Races pilot George Byers dropped out after a lean mixture burned through a cylinder on tryouts.

Eight Ball was restored and is on display at the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, California, along with the R-4 Firecracker. In 1991, the R-6 was displayed at the EAA Airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin as part of a "Golden Age of Air Racing" program.

Specifications (Rider R-6)
General characteristics
Crew: 1
Length: 19 ft (5.8 m)
Wingspan: 18 ft 5 in (5.61 m)
Powerplant: 1 ◊ Menasco Buccaneer
Propellers: 2-bladed Hamilton Standard adjustable
Maximum speed: 189.852 knots (218.478 mph, 351.606 km/h)

Classic Aircraft

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