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Beck-Mahoney Sorceress

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere

The Beck-Mahoney Sorceress was a racing staggerwing biplane originally designed by the father and son team of Lee and Seldon Mahoney with later improvements accomplished by pilot Don Beck.[1]

The aircraft is famous as being the first biplane to exceed 200 mph on a race pylon course and also holds the distinction as being the winningest racing biplane in history.[2][3] It was donated to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum after its last race, where it is currently housed in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.[3]

Results and Records

Sorceress placed in the following Reno Air Races, racing as #89:[4]

  • 1970: Biplane Consolation, 7th place, 152.380 mph, pilot: Lee Mahoney (crossed the finish line first, but automatically moved to last as it was racing as a fill-in).
  • 1971: Biplane Gold, 2nd place, 175.290 mph, pilot: Paul Deschamps
  • 1972: Biplane Gold, 1st place, 189.723 mph, pilot: Don Beck
  • 1973: Biplane Gold, 2nd place, 184.620 mph, pilot: Don Beck
  • 1974: Biplane Gold, 2nd place, 191.530 mph, pilot: Don Beck
  • 1975: Biplane Gold, 1st place, 198.990 mph, pilot: Don Beck
  • 1976: Biplane Gold, 1st place, 202.153 mph, pilot: Don Beck
  • 1980: Biplane Gold, 8th place, 210.730 mph, pilot: Don Beck (crossed finish first, disqualified for illegal passing)
  • 1982: Biplane Gold, 3rd place, 206.290 mph, pilot: Don Beck
  • 1983: Biplane Gold, 2nd place, 202.350 mph, pilot: Don Beck

Sorceress set a number of speed records in the Sport Biplane Class, including:[2]

  • 190.48 mph, qualifying heat record, 1970 Reno Air Races
  • 189.723 mph, championship race record, 1972 Reno Air Races
  • 202.153 mph, championship race record, 1976 Reno Air Races


External links