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Author Carmel Pule' (1 month)
I never liked this aircraft because of the " wired" struts holding the
wings, especially the lower ones, and as far as the wing tips, I feel the
design of the wing tips is a disaster.
Those thin struts are like a guitar or violin string and they could
oscillate in a variation of mode from fundamental to higher harmonics.
with such high frequency vibrations metal fatigue could have weakened the
lower pair and so one of them failed and if it was the front one then the
wing would have warped and then failed and the first warp would have sent
the plane to spin as it did. Vibrating thin wires or solid drawn thin
struts are a great disadvantage at planes travelling at over 100 mph.
From this video I feel that is what happened.
For the same reason , sailing boats have to change the mast rigging pretty
often as it is known that the rigging sings with the wind! I can imagine
the singing of the" rigging" in the Gee Bee.

Author rcnut812 (2 months)
It's always entertaining to read all the You Tube engineers comments. 

Author airraptor (5 months)
My thoughts was that elevator flutter caused a sudden pitch nose down and
the quick reaction of the pilot caused a sudden pitch change and high AoA
caused the right wing to fail ending with the plane impacting the ground at
high speed.

Author Bill Polits (15 days)
Yes, the pitch down, then pull up followed by both wings deforming leading
edge up and then the right wing fails.

Author Arne Husby (6 months)
Interesting film, but the music is unnecessary.

Author aldraw (2 months)
Why does it sound like a jet fighter?

Author TheInboil (7 days)
it was ISIS

Author airraptor (1 month)
Jack hammer ope your eyes and look at the video. you will see it pitched
slightly nose down then pitched up slightly

Author dizzypilots1 (2 months)
show me the non white that could creat a geebee racer

Author Sealy571 (5 months)
Right wing came off.

Author Treetop64 (1 year)
Would have been just fine without the added on sound effects, which were a
bit over the top.

Author Dan Hudson (4 months)
Aileron flutter? The right wing failed about midspan. I always heard that
the skin came off the right wing fouling the lift but this video tells a
different story. 

Author DmaxHd (11 months)
Aileron flutter tore the wing apart , there was no pulling up visible

Author Béla Ságodi (7 months)
Control surface flutter is a more likely cause. It is theorized that the
gas cap struck the pilot and incapacitated him, causing a sudden upset in
pitch that led to uncontrolled flutter in the right aileron which imparted
undue stress on that wing, causing it to pitch up sharply and fail.

Author C Riley (1 year)
Wrong engine sound for this aircraft. 

Author theroskyyyy (6 months)
Woow this is sad.....atleast i know he would have been dead by now of other
causes...but still, sad

Author dizzypilots1 (5 months)
that was one bad ass hot rod,everybody has an excuse,but none of these
wanna bees can call it true.flaps,caps,ass,hats,on and on 

Author theroskyyyy (6 months)
Woow this is sad.....atleast i know he would have been dead by now of other
causes...but still, sad

Author Piet Builder (11 months)
That had to be caused by aileron flutter

Author Jim Humphries (11 months)
Unstable in every direction.

Author JohnSmith6875 (10 months)
Doolittle said this was easily the most dangerous airplane he ever flew.
Once he won the race with it, he flew it straight back to where he had
picked it up and said he would never fly it again. All the original Gee
Bee Racers were written off.

Author Countdown70s (10 months)
GeeBee = creepiest scariest and most dangerous airplane I ever
would not get me into one at gunpoint.
Sad what happened to this Bayles fellow, the pre-amble brought him to life
with us too, there he is in the cockpit one minute, the next,

Author Sam Moss (1 year)
That was my very first plastic model plane back in the late 50's boy does
this bring back memories.

Author osp80 (7 months)
a lot of the problem with classic racers aside from being o the cutting
edge of aerodynamics was simply the less quality of materials then. they
took a sample of one of the engine blocks from a german silver arrow F1 car
from the 30's and determined it's alloy was comparable to alloys found in
common patio furniture today.

Author phil123711 (10 months)
Stupid bloody music.

Author Obearons Muse (10 months)
There is a pull, you can see both wings thicken just before the right wing
folds. We can see more than the leading edge, the bottom of both wings
show for a split second, meaning a pull. He was descending, so he needed
to pull at some point. It seems clear to me that the speed, for which this
airplane was not designed, and the heavier engine, for which the airplane
was not designed, simply reached the load limit when Bayles nudged the
stick back to level off. 

Author M RAMIREZ (1 year)
RIP Brave Pilot

Author kh40yr (1 year)
You can see the right wing 1/2 / tip stand straight up,,then it disappears.
Clearly instant structural failure. Rip Brave pilot.

Author Sam Moss (1 year)
Yeah he lost a wing his right one and it was all over. Don't know if the
spars went from tip to tip for strength.

Author Michael Pederson (9 months)

Author jeff13151 (10 months)
I bet they're a bitch to fly with one wing.

Author altoonabeme (2 years)
The P-47 and other radial-engined aircraft had big cowls, but the P-40 with
its inline engine as well as the P-51 and P-38 with inlines had smaller
cowling around their engines.

Author malcolm19701970 (5 years)
Thank you so much for posting this clip! Have been looking for it in excess
of a year..thank you. Gee Bee's have always been a big fascination for me,
and I have (and had) a few very large scale RC models of the various
types..but the "Z" is actually more famous really than the R-1 or
R-2....the only one that ever made them money was the two "Y"s they built
which Lowell had a share in it . But look....Lowell.AND the mechanic who
put the canopy on.....look at their faces..they knew its over!

Author Dean H (3 years)
@bigdodgeaus well back in the day the glass wasn't laminated, and accounts
of the crash verify the cap did go right thru the windscreen. but the
reason for the crash was the plane wasn't suited for very high speeds and
it went into an oscillation from turbulence at around 300 mph that shook it

Author SomeGuyInSandy (1 year)
He was wearing a parachute. In those days they were slung in a package very
low behind the pilot. You can see it as the gets into the plane. Pilots in
those days used them as seat cushions as well.

Author boingkster (3 years)
@masmddds Yes, many radial engined planes were very successful in WWII; the
Grumman F6F, P-47 Thunderbolt and Focke Wulf 190 cheif amongst them.
Regardless, the reasons I mentioned were indeed among those given for the
H-1 being turned down for military use. In essence, it was too ground
breaking for the US military to consider its use.

Author Bobby Ingram (1 year)
Wears a tie and NO parachute. But the chute wouldn't have helped.

Author deemilieu (4 years)
the wings are small and so thin. you have to be going really fast to get
any lift

Author J.J. Topp (2 years)
This aircraft was/is known to develop severe wing flutter at high speeds
which can result in catastrophic failure of the wing spar(s).

Author cargecko007 (4 years)
@stunmunky im glad i cant understand it, if u freaks like this i dont want
to know why

Author 420Nitroman (2 years)
looked like the right wing folded up.

Author grandtheftautowwe (4 years)
Gee Bee's are EXTREMELY hard to fly

Author choofish (5 years)
Yes it was a great design but not stressed enough for the loads at the
speeds they were trying to coax from it. The wing tip clearly folded in the

Author conn3r12 (4 years)
My grandpa is building a gee bee r1 and it will be the only one thats
flying and yess he willl be flying it. His name is harold forth check him
out at

Author George Anderson (1 year)
Some have suggested that the GEE BEE was not dangerous. It was and any
student of stability and control will be glad to show why the design is
inherently unstable. Jimmy Doolittle said the same later in his life. In
his memoirs. Suggesting that an aileron fluttered is possible but just
speculation. Clearly a wing came off. I can imagine it possible that pilot
incapacitation could have resulted in over G but no flight path change to
confirms this.

Author John Sanchez (1 year)
What really happened was the gas cap came loose, went through the canopy
and hit Scott in the head killing him instantly. The racer was out of
control before the wing ripped off.

Author strongbad73 (4 years)
@gooseneck12 dont know how u could have seen a little gas cap come off in
such bad film from so far away but man he didnt even have time to go

Author banditsuz (2 years)
Great camera work.

Author homfencing (1 year)
Poor bastard never had a least it was quick.

Author william henry (2 years)
i read that only 3 people lived after flying this, Doolitlle, huges and
another i cant remember

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