Laird Super Solution

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Laird Super Solution
Laird Solution.jpg
Laird Super Solution
Role Racing aircraft
National origin United States of America
Manufacturer E. M. Laird Airplane Company
Designer E. M. Matty Laird, Raoul J. Hoffman
First flight 22 August 1931
Status under restoration
Number built 1
Developed from Laird Solution

The Laird LC-DW300 and LC-DW500 Super Solution aka "Sky Buzzard" was a racing biplane built in the early 1930s by Matty Laird for the Cleveland Speed Foundation, Laird was already famous in the air racing circuit. It had a large radial engine and an extremely faired windshield. Other than being a biplane, it was similar in appearance to the Gee Bee, a more famous racer from the period. It was an advanced design for the time because of the relatively clean aerodynamic construction and tight engine cowling.[1]

The Super Solution was the first winner of the Bendix Trophy race from Burbank to Cleveland where it was flown by Maj. James H. Doolittle.


Construction of the Super Solution started on 8 July 1931. The aircraft was complete and test flown at Ashborn Field in Chicago by 22 August 1931. Further changes were made by the Christopher Bros. in Wichita, Kansas in 1932, such as raising the seat, installing a sliding canopy, and adding retractable landing gear.[2]


Two engines were used in the Solution, the second being a geared variant that allowed a lower propeller rpm with a larger propeller. The engines ran with high-compression pistons and "doped" leaded fuel. Both produced over 500 hp from the standard 375 hp P&W R-985 Wasp Jr. S2A engine of the day.

Operational history[edit]

Initial flight tests proved the aircraft required more rudder area to maintain stability and the fixed pitch propeller needed to be adjusted to allow takeoffs under a mile in length.

On display[edit]

  • The EAA has a reconstructed Super Solution in their museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It was presented in 1981 by Jimmy Doolittle and Mattie Laird.[4]
  • Jim Moss of Washington state built the only flying reproduction, which is currently on display at Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida.

Specifications (Laird Super Solution)[edit]

Data from Sport Aviation

General characteristics

  • Capacity: 1
  • Length: 19 ft 6 in (5.94 m)
  • Wingspan: 21 ft (6.4 m)
  • Wing area: 112 sq ft (10.4 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,580 lb (717 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,842 lb (1,289 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 112 U.S. gallons (420 L; 93 imp gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior S2A 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 535 hp (399 kW) running on doped fuel with high compression pistons
  • Propellers: 2-bladed variable-pitch propeller


  • Wing loading: 27.16 lb/sq ft (132.6 kg/m2)


  1. ^ Sport Aviation. February 1959. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Laird Super Solution". Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  3. ^ "Laird Super Solution". Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Laird Super Solution Replica". Retrieved 20 June 2011.

External links[edit]