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 Brown Special Monoplane Racer
Alden Brown incorporated some novel features in his Racer NR71Y #203. The cockpit enclosure had no break or reversal in the fuselage contour. Top of the transparent enclosure was faired into the body lines and the fuselage forward of the cockpit was cut down at an angle of about 10 degrees with the fuselage centreline. Vision forward was poor during ground operations and still marginal in the air.
The Brown had been designed for a retractable undercarriage but time did not permit its installation, so it was fitted with cantilever struts and completely enclosed wheels. It was painted a light blue.
Alden Brown’s plane suffered a mishap on its first take-off at the Nationals. Roy Minor was at the controls. The close fitted wheel pants filled with mud and locked the wheels, causing the ship yo rear up enough to damage the cowl and propeller. As it came to rest the gear also collapsed so the ship was out of competition for the balance of the races.
Lee Shoenhair was the pilot in 1933. During the early part of the year he and Alden experimented with a retractable gear but were unable to get it to function properly so they reverted to the original gear. Lee was careful about use of the wheel pants and when in question on a slightly muddy or rough field these were not used. The aircraft appeared as often in 1933 without wheel pants as it did with them. She now wore the Gilmore Oil insignia and a dorsal tail fin with a small headrest above the glassed-in cockpit enclosure. This improved lateral stability and increased the pilot’s vision. The racer placed fourth in the 1000 cubic inch displacement free-for-all at the Nationals. During this race Lee experienced super-charger trouble with the engine and achieved only 137.52 mph. This was the last year the Alden Brown Racer appeared at the races. After that its whereabouts are unknown.
Model 203’s wing span was 18-19 feet and its length about the same.

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