Aviation History Soars At CIRA | WGLT

Aviation History Soars At CIRA

Oct 13, 2015

Tilbury Flash
Credit McLean County Museum of History

The Central Illinois Regional Airport now has a piece of McLean County aviation history on display. The airport and County Museum of History have hung the Tilbury Flash racing airplane in a concourse. Museum Curator Susan Hartzold says engineer Owen Tilbury invented the Flash in the 1930s.

Hartzold says the Tilbury Flash set an American speed record in 1933 winning the Polish Trophy at air races in Chicago.

Engineer Owen Tilbury designed and built the 12 foot five inch long plane on the upper floors of Bloomington's Castle Theater using a four cylinder motorcycle engine.

The cockpit was designed around the intended pilot, barnstormer Art Carnahan, who later managed the Bloomington Airport

The new home for the tiny aircraft came after it was removed from the museum display to make room for the Route 66 Visitors' Center.