Thanks to a generous donation by father and son, Eldon and Paul Lange, the museum now has a recreation of a 1929 Boeing P-12C. The duo spent two decades assembling and building this P-12C to 80% replication.
The P-12 line was purchased by the U.S. Navy to be the primary aircraft carrier based fighter. It was the last wooden wing bi-plane built by Boeing. The P-12 carried two machine guns that were synced to shoot ammo between the propeller blades. The fighter also carried 244 pounds of bombs fastened to the fuselage externally. The fighter cruised at 10,000 feet at a speed of 160 mph. The engine was a 500 horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-1340-17.
Because this plane had a faster top speed that its predecessor, the Boeing F3B, and performed better overall, the U.S. Army Air Corps (now the U.S. Air Force) chose to also add the plane to its fleet. It operated it domestically as well as in the Philippines, the Panama Canal Zone and the then U.S. territory, Hawaii. The plane was also sold to the Brazilian Army, the Spanish Air Force, the Chinese Nationalist Air Force and the Royal Thai Air force.
The plane was so popular that sales of the P-12 carried Boeing through the early years of the Great Depression and established the company as an vital aircraft manufacturer. As a young boy living near San Francisco, Eldon Lange was fascinated with the rows of these sleek, powerful that he saw at Moffett Field. His stories about this experience became the inspiration for he and his son to create this beautiful replication.
So we once again thank Eldon and Paul Lange for their generous and important contribution. And we appreciate their 20 years of hard work recreating the Boeing P-12C.
See this video below, shared with us by Paul, courtesy Airplane Mart.