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Stainless Steel Seaplane — Budd BB-1 Pioneer

7 September 2015

39° 57′ 31″ N / 75° 10′ 21″ W

 

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer on exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia PA — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

The rare Budd BB-1 Pioneer is exhibited in the elements on the front grounds of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia PA. But this is one exhibit not to be concerned of regarding deterioration since the Budd Company’s unique characteristic is construction design using stainless steel. Yes, this amphibious seaplane was built using highly corrosion resistant stainless steel.

The design is obviously inspired by Savoia-Marchetti as well as Sikorsky seaplanes. Power was provided by the 210 hp 5-cylinder Kinner C-5 radial reciprocating engine mounted on the top wing. The Pioneer first flew in 1931 and was relegated to display status in 1934 at the Franklin Institute which is also in the Budd Company’s home town of Philadelphia PA.

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer from the bows — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer from the public entrance level into the Franklin Institute — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer view of the hull and left wings — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer closer view of the stainless steel hull — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer’s Kinner engine’s nacelle — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer aft view of the nacelle (with a male European House Sparrow for scale / with thanks to Ross Sharp for the avian identification) — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer’s three place cockpit — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer details of the upper right wing (note the aileron) — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer details of the lower right wing (note the lack of aileron) — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer’s empennage — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer 5-o’clock view— Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Budd BB-1 Pioneer rear quarter view — Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. shortfinals permalink
    7 September 2015 08:48

    Thank you for this grand coverage on the Budd BB-1 Pioneer, Joe! As a complete aside – the ‘small bird’ perched on the wing is a male European House Sparrow (Passer domesticus). This ubiquitous little pest (all descended from a most ill-advised release in Central Park) has forced several native species to near extinction. I most sincerely apologize!

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      7 September 2015 13:28

      Ross, as ever thank you and kudos for the bird identification! I’ll amend the caption 😉

  2. Nick Veronico permalink
    7 September 2015 15:53

    Reminds me of the Fleetwings Sea Bird — also of stainless steel construction. Not many of those built either. Great fotos!

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      7 September 2015 20:30

      Thanks Nick and I will have to look up the Sea Bird so thanks for that piece of information as well 🙂

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