Crosby CR-4 Racer
Archive Photos 1
[1938 Crosby CR-4 (NR92Y) c.2003 at the EAA AirVenture Museum, Oshkosh, WI (Photos by John Shupek)]
The Crosby CR-4 is a racing aircraft developed in the late 1930s.
The Crosby CR-4 is the follow-on of the Menasco C6S-4 powered Crosby CR-3 (a.k.a. C6R-3) designed to be powered by a twelve-cylinder Ranger V-770 engine The aircraft was designed while Crosby was recovering with a broken back and fractured skull from the 1936 crash of his all metal CR-3. Despite a prior failure causing a crash, money shortages prompted Crosby to reuse the Menasco C6S-4 engine from his former racer. Funding for construction came from fellow racer Kieth Rider. Students from the Curtiss-Wright Technical Institute in Glendale, California assembled the aircraft.
The CR-4 is a low-wing monoplane with conventional landing gear. The construction is all-metal stressed skin. The triangular wings featured a straight leading edge with a long chord tapering to a point at the wingtips. The left cowling held a combination oil tank and surface cooler. The seat and canopy adjusted up six inched in travel for take off and landing visibility. The landing gear used compressed air from a Lux air bottle rather than mechanical or hydraulic mechanism. Copper filings found later in the line, combined with wind resistance prevented on leg from locking.
Operational History 2
The first flight was performed in April 1938 at Mines Field with severe aileron flutter and a wheel collapse on landing.
In late 1939, the CR-4 was filmed for use in the movie Tail Spin. In 1945, Crosby died while bailing out of a XP-79B. The CR-4 was sold by his wife to be restored by its new owner. The aircraft was placed in storage in a school bus until purchased by Morton Lester. Lester donated the airframe to the EAA Airventure museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where it was restored and placed on display.
Crosby CIP-5 - With the onset of WWII, Crosby developed an all wood interceptor around the CR-4 design and its intended Twelve cylinder Ranger engine. Construction material was wood rather than the advanced all-metal design of the prior racers.
Crosby CR-4 Specifications 2
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