The Folkert's SK-3
Flown By Rudy Kline
flight reinactment

The Folkert's SK-3

This was the fifth of these scale models that I completed . It is a 1/12 (1 inch = 1 foot) replica of the Folkert SK3 that won the Thompson Trophy race held in Cleveland, Ohio in 1937. Yes, the landing gear retracts, and the wing flaps extend. (see photos below)

Now for a little bit of aviation history. I was in my late teens during that period, living close to Cleveland and have vivid memories of those airplanes. Early in 1937 Clayton Folkert brought forth a larger version of the SK2. The SK2 had been successful, but was no longer competitive. The SK3 had a six cylinder engine as opposed the four cylinder engine in the SK2. This new racer was capable of speeds of 320 MPH. It was one of the "new breed" of airplanes using cantilever internally braced wings and retractable landing gear.

In 1937 the SK3 flown by Rudy Kling won the prestigious Thompson Trophy at the National Air Races held in Cleveland Ohio. He averaged 256 MPH over the two hundred mile closed course. Earl Ortman flying the Rider R3 had led the race lapping several airplanes. Rudy Kling flying the SK3 was not able to overtake Ortman, but he had a plan. On the last lap Rudy gained altitude and beat Ortman by diving across the finish line just yards ahead of Ortman.

Flying the improved SK3 in the first 1938 race in Miami, Florida, Rudy experienced a high speed stall at one of the pylons, and fatally crashed the SK3. When things go wrong flying at one thousand feet and 240 MPH, you have about three seconds to say your prayers. Clayton Folkert never built another racing airplane, but was successful in building commercial aircraft.

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Folkert's SK-3 Airplane


Model Photo No. 1


Model Photo No. 2

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