Cassutt Racer added to Spirit of Flight Museum

Nampa, Idaho, Thursday, April 6, 2023:  After a ten year search, the Spirit of Flight Foundation museum announced that a Cassutt IIIM Formula One racing plane has been donated to the museum collection.

“We have had several Cassutt aircraft lined up over the years, but they just didn’t work out,” said Gordon Page, President of the Spirit of Flight Foundation.  “Fortunately, a donor answered an advertisement we ran recently, and we are happy to say a Cassutt is on the way to the Spirit of Flight,” he added.

The Cassutt was designed in 1954 by Tom Cassutt, an airline pilot from Huntington, Long Island, New York.   The tiny plane won the National Air Racing Championships in 1958.

Tom Cassutt designed the plane as a single-place, cantilevered mid-wing Formula One sport racer. It was a simple to construct and was stressed for aerobatics to 12 G's. It is popular as a racing plane, as it is inexpensive and offers high performance. The fuselage, engine mount, tail and ailerons are constructed of steel tubing. The 15’ wing is all-wood with the main spar made of a simple flat piece of spruce laminations.

“The Cassutt will be hung from the ceiling of the Spirit of Flight Museum as if it were in an air race,” said Gordon Page. “We are dedicating it to our friends, Ib Hansen and Jay Jones,” Page went on to say.  “Air Racing trophies from Hansen and Jones are in the museum collection,” he added.

Over 800 of Cassutts have been built since Tom Cassutt began selling his plans, and they have been successful in in Formula One racing ever since.

The Spirit of Flight Cassutt will join another famous air racer, Sky Baby aka Swea’ Pea, a 1947 plane built by Art Chester, who was recently inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

“Visitors to the Spirit of Flight in Nampa, Idaho will get to see the beginnings of Formula One Air Racing with Sky Baby and experience what it was like to see a plane roaring around a pylon, thanks to the donation of the Cassutt,”said museum volunteer and current Reno Air Racer, John Flanagan.  “The museum displays an incredible collection of air racing history and I can’t wait to see the Cassutt.”

Spirit of Flight plans to document the Cassutt on the Chasing Planes YouTube channel.  Viewers are encouraged to subscribe to the channel to support the museum and to also be eligible for giveaways.

About the Spirit of Flight Foundation and Museum-   Founded in 1998, the non-profit Spirit of Flight Foundation features over 2500 aviation artifacts at the museum facility in Nampa, Idaho.   Aircraft in the collection include a James Bond BD-5 jet, a 1947 Race Plane built by Art Chester, a 1936 Lockheed 12A, and a Radioplane target drone, built in the factory where Marilyn Monroe was discovered.

The Spirit of Flight Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and uses tax deductible donations to support its mission to save aviation history.

Contact the Spirit of Flight Foundation at for more information.