Dayton-Wright Racer

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RB-1 Racer
Dayton-Wright RB-1.jpg
Role Racing aircraft
Manufacturer Dayton-Wright
Designer Howard Rinehart, Milton Baumann, Charles Hampson Grant, Orville Wright,
First flight 1920
Number built 1
Variants Dayton-Wright XPS-1

The Dayton-Wright RB-1 (Rinehart-Baumann model one), also known simply as the Dayton-Wright Racer was a racing aircraft developed in the United States to participate in the 1920 Gordon Bennett Cup air race. Advanced for its day, the aircraft was a high-wing monoplane with a monocoque fuselage and cantilever wing (built of solid balsa wood covered in plywood and linen that incorporated a Grant[clarification needed] designed mechanism to vary its camber in flight by moving the leading edge and trailing edge. The aircraft also featured a retractable undercarriage operated by a hand-crank making it one of the first instances of undercarriage retraction for aerodynamic benefit alone.[1] The propeller shaft was mounted through a large oval radiator, the pilot had no forward view, but was provided with flexible celluloid side windows. Cockpit access was through a hatch in the top of the fuselage.[2] A prototype was built using non-retractable gear and strut-braced wings. A shorter tapered "racing wing" was installed afterward with leading and trailing edge flaps interconnected with landing gear deployment. The mechanisms and hinges for the wing flaps were exposed across the top of the solid wing. The racing wing produced directional instability requiring small tail fins to be added.[3]

Operational history[edit]

Dismantled and shipped to France, the RB-1 was flown by Howard Rinehart in the 28 September 1920 race, but was forced to withdraw after a cable failure prevented full retraction of the gear/flap mechanism,[3][4] allowing the two Nieuport-Delage NiD.29V racers to make a one-two finish.[5] After the race it was returned to the United States, and is now preserved at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Many of the aircraft's advanced features were incorporated into a prototype fighter design, the XPS-1.



Data from 1921 Aircraft Yearbook

General characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Length: 22 ft 8 in (6.91 m)
  • Wingspan: 21 ft 2 in (6.45 m)
  • Wing area: 102.74 ft2 ( m2)
  • Empty weight: 1400 lb (635 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1850 lb (839 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hall-Scott L-6a, 250 hp (187 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 190 mph (306 km/h)
  • Range: 275 miles (440 km)
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4572 m)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Wegg 1990, p.30.
  3. ^ a b Eberspacher, Warren (April 2000). "The Dayton-Wright RB-Racer". Skyways.
  4. ^ "The Dayton-Wright monoplane"Flight 7 October 1920
  5. ^ Margoulis, W. (April 1920). "The Gordon Bennett Aeroplane Cup, 1920". National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Technical Note. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. 50: 2–4.
  • Wegg, John (1990). General Dynamics Aircraft and their Predecessors. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-833-X.
  • O'Leary, Michael (November 2003). "Dayton-Wright RB-1". Air Classics.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 305.