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The "Rolls Royce" of aviation, only the wealthy owned a Staggerwing. In 1940 this model sold for over $18,870.00.
With the lower wing forward, this sleek new aircraft was nicknamed "Staggerwing."
The Staggerwing was faster than any military aircraft, with the largest payload of its type and ideal for rough, short landing strips. During the war planes with such desirable characteristics were often commandeered for military use.
The civilian D 17S Staggerwing was later built in two versions, the UC-43 for the US Army Air Corps and the GB-2 for the US Navy.
1936 was the first year women could enter the Bendix Air Race. Mr. Bendix added a bonus for the first women to cross the finish line. Two women, Louise Thaden and Blanche Noyes won in their stock Staggerwing. Also racing was Laura Ingalls who placed 2nd with Amelia Earhart finishing 5th.
When acquired by Yanks in September of 1973, this Staggerwing became the first aircraft of our collection. It has been restored to bear the seal of the U.S. Ambassador to London.