Rudy Kling, the son of a German immigrant and the sixth of 11 children, grew up on a farm west of Lemont.

Despite his skill with automobiles, his real love was airplanes. Kling attended night classes at Joliet Township High School to learn navigation. There he befriended a man who would have a major impact on his life: Art Chester, a Downers Grove racer who designed his own planes and co-creator of the P-51 Mustang, one of the top fighters of World War II.

Kling became fascinated with high-performance racing planes. In 1933, he bought Miss San Francisco I, a racer damaged after its gas tank exploded during the Chicago Air Races earlier that year. The plane, a Keith Rider R-1, had won a slew of races over the prior three years. He finally had his own racing plane. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find anywhere to fly it competitively. The plane was raced throughout 1934 and 1935 with Roger Don Rae at the controls. Kling modified the plane again in 1936 and painted it blue with cream trim and rechristened it Suzy. The plane was wrecked following a race in Los Angeles later that year. Kling, though bruised and bloodied, escaped with minor injuries. Next time he would not be so lucky.

In 1937, racing in his new plane, Jupiter, Pride of Lemont, Kling broke speed records across the country while winning three major competitions: the Thompson, the Henderson and the Greve trophy races. On December 3, 1937, his 29th birthday, Kling was turning Jupiter around the first pylon of a race in Miami when it was forced down by atmospheric conditions. Jupiter hit the ground at more than 200 miles per hour, killing Kling.

Views: 271

Comment

You need to be a member of ConsimWorld to add comments!

Join ConsimWorld

Help Center

Latest Activity

Steve K commented on Steve K's blog post Games I'm Playing 2019
"Our 3rd play of Sixth Fleet ended with a very close Draw. The Russians did a good job of capturing…"
17 hours ago
76mm updated their profile
18 hours ago
Joseph replied to Chuang Shyue Chou's discussion What are you reading?
"Read: "Rise of the Tang Dynasty: The Reunification of China and the Military Response to the…"
yesterday
Eric Walters left a comment for Dave Stevens
"Dave, welcome to the CONSIMWORLD Social website!  You seem to be a serious old school Great…"
Monday
Dave Stevens is now a member of ConsimWorld
Monday
Jim Werbaneth commented on Jim Werbaneth's blog post News, and It's Not Good
"Thanks Wayne.  I'm actually doing better now, and will be seeing the surgeon for my…"
Sunday
Wayne Rotella commented on Jim Werbaneth's blog post News, and It's Not Good
"Sending you positive thoughts. Get better."
Sunday
paul torres left a comment for Wild Bill Wilder
"Do you have a business address. I am interested in obtaining your Battle of the bulge variant for…"
Saturday

Members

CSW Related Links

Please be sure to check-out these CSW services.

© 2019   Created by John Kranz.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service