No. 4134. Rohr M.R.1 (NX90651)
Photographs from the Don Burnett collection

Rohr M.R.1

09/30/2012. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "The Rohr Aircraft Corporation of Chula Vista, California was formed by Fred H. Rohr. Fred Rohr was the person who designed and built the fuel tanks for Lindbergh's Ryan NYP, that succeeded in the first solo trans-Atlantic crossing. The Rohr company was the world’s biggest airframe component supplier in WW II, after the war it initiated two totally odd aircraft projects.

The two-seat M.R.1 was a project of Frank McCreary, an engineer at Rohr (hence M.R.1 stood for McCreary-Rohr One). Of aluminum construction, it had a tadpole shaped fuselage with forward-swept wings, a butterfly tail, and the powerplant was a 36 hp Aeronca E-113 two-cylinder air-cooled engine. It made just one flight (in 1948) as the test pilot, Doug Kelley, considered it unsafe to fly. Subsequently the aircraft was fitted with a Continental C-65 engine and a ventral fin, but reportedly it was never flown in this form.

Eventually the aircraft ended up in the San Diego Air & Space Museum, where it was lost in the fire of February 22, 1978. The wings survived and are stored in York, Pennsylvania. The often stated nickname Guppy must have been introduced much later by the media, as reportedly it was never used by the team.

The other aircraft, the tail-first M.O.1 Midnight Oiler (because it looked like an oil can), was a project of Burt Raynes, at that time a tooling engineer for Rohr. The M.O.1 was completed only 75%, so it was never flown."

Created April 14, 2005