The Keith Rider R-4 Firecracker was an air racer in the 1930s.During the Golden Age of Air Racing the original 1936 aircraft was flown to many top-three finishes in the years just prior to World War II. It was first flown by accomplished race pilot Roger Don Rae. The R-4 was different than earlier Rider racers as it had a steel tube fuselage covered with wood and fabric. It had a symmetric airfoil. The engine was a supercharged and was in 1937 a Menasco B6S Bucanneer.

Bill Schoenfeldt acquired the R-4 in late 1936 and a new six cylinder engine installed:  the Menasco C6S-4 Super Buccaneer. The racer was renamed the "Schoenfeldt Firecracker" and had its first taste of competition at the 1937 International Air Races in St. Louis. During 1938 the "Firecracker" was again reworked and performed during several races. Tony LeVier placed first in the 1938 Greve Trophy race and second in the 1939 National Air Races behind Roscoe Turner in the Turner-Laird Special.

The "Firecracker" went into storage at the start of World War II and many parts were used on other aircraft.

Firecracker R-4

This is a replica of the Keith Rider R-4 "Schoenfeldt Firecracker" . Registration NX261Y , code "70". It was seen on display at the Tony Wathen Collection at Flabop airport, Rubidoux, California.

Photographed 2017 by Cees Hendriks, (c) copyright IPMS Nederland

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Only a few models were released: in 1/72 scale a kit by LF Models and in 1/32 the well known classic kit by Williams Brothers.


This walk around page was first published February 2018 by M. de Vreeze ;   note the Copyright!