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Beck-Mahoney "Sorceress"

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Display Status:

This object is on display in the Commercial Aviation exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

Designed and built by Lee Mahoney and his father, S. C. "Mickey" Mahoney, the Sorceress was the first sport biplane to exceed 322 kilometers (200 miles) per hour on a closed course, and it reached 394 kilometers (245 miles) per hour in level flight. The aircraft proved so successful that the rules governing its competition qualification were modified to such an extent that the Sorceress was forced into retirement.

Fitted with only a single 135-horsepower Lycoming O-290-D2 engine, this unique metal staggerwing biplane flew to many victories during its distinguished career in the 1970s. Noted air racing pilot Don Beck purchased the Sorceress in 1972 and flew it to many more wins. Beck gave the aircraft to the Museum in 1984.

Collection Item Long Description:

Designed and built by Lee Mahoney and his father, S. C. "Mickey" Mahoney, the Sorceress was the first sport biplane to exceed 322 kilometers (200 miles) per hour on a closed course, and it reached 394 kilometers (245 miles) per hour in level flight. The aircraft proved so successful that the rules governing its competition qualification were modified to such an extent that the Sorceress was forced into retirement.

Fitted with only a single 135-horsepower Lycoming O-290-D2 engine, this unique metal staggerwing biplane flew to many victories during its distinguished career in the 1970s. Noted air racing pilot Don Beck purchased the Sorceress in 1972 and flew it to many more wins. Beck gave the aircraft to the Museum in 1984.

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Gift of Donald O. Beck

Dimensions

  • Wingspan: 4.9 m (16 ft)
  • Length: 5.2 m (17 ft)
  • Height: 2.1 m (7 ft)
  • Weight, empty: 318 kg (700 lb)
  • Top speed: 394 km/h (245 mph)
  • Engine: Lycoming O-290-D2, air-cooled, 135 hp

Country of Origin

United States of America

Date

Circa 1970s

Type

CRAFT-Aircraft

Inventory Number

A19840416000