Wittman Big X
On a cross-country fuel stop at Hagerstown, Maryland with Wittman's design, the Buttercup, Fairchild engineers expressed an interest in the design and even entered in negotiations for possible production of the aircraft. With the onset of WWII, production plans were shelved, but Fairchild contacted Wittman and proposed that a four-seat version would be marketable. Wittman designed the four-place "Big X" soon afterward, which first flew on 6 January 1945.
The Big X was steel tube fuselage with fabric covering and all-wood wings. The original Big X featured a 130 hp Franklin engine, later upgraded to a 150 hp.
Big X was used as a companion plane and baggage hauler during Wittman's years as an air racer. When Fairchild did not follow up on production offers, Wittman was contacted by Cessna in Wichita, Kansas, to demonstrate the lightweight and strong spring steel landing gear of the Big X. Cessna bought the plane and its production rights in order to use the gear on its new Cessna 195 taildragger. Wittman later produced an updated version in a two-place configuration called the Wittman Tailwind that became a popular homebuilt aircraft.
The original aircraft (the ony Big X built) was rebuilt by Forrest Lovley in 1980.
Wittman Big X
Engine: 1 × Franklin 6A4-150-B3, 150 hp (110 kW)
Length: 24 ft 10 in (7.57 m)
Wingspan: 29 ft (8.8 m)
Empty weight: 1,150 lb (522 kg)
Gross weight: 2,200 lb (998 kg)
Fuel capacity: 36
Cruise speed: 130 kn; 241 km/h (150 mph)
Stall speed: 48 kn; 89 km/h (55 mph)
Rate of climb: 900 ft/min (4.6 m/s)