Race planes of the thirties, the Rider R-6

By Willie Bodenstein


The R-6, 'Eight Ball' was a single place, all-wood low-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear. It was the last of Keith Rider's designed racing aircraft of the 1930s 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 1938 Thompson Trophy the Eight Ball dropped out in the 27th lap and in 1939 National Air Races. Pilot George Byers dropped out after a lean mixture burned through a cylinder on tryouts.

The 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.

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 kn (218.478 mph, 351.606 km/h)

Classic Aircraft

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