06/30/2009. Sylvester Joseph "Steve" Wittman (April 5, 1904 - April 27, 1995), competed in and won more air races than anyone else between 1926 and 1989, therefore he is also referred to as the "Dean of American Racing Pilots".
To compete in the Thompson Trophy Race, Wittman started in 1934 the design of the Bonzo around the 485 hp Curtiss D-12 twelve-cylinder, water-cooled V-engine. Wittman raced Bonzo (registered NR13688) in the Thompson Trophy Race in 1935 (placing second), in 1937 (fifth, as pictured above), 1938 (third) and 1939 (fifth). The aircraft was donated to the EAA, reregistered N4486E on November 8, 1983, it is still registered, although the aircraft is no longer airworthy.