In 1946, Jack Woolams in Cobra I and Tex Johnston in Cobra II departed Niagara Falls, NY and flew west to Cleveland, OH to compete as a team at the Thompson Trophy Races. On August 29th, Woolams qualified Cobra I at 392.7mph, while Johnston qualified Cobra I at a blistering 409.1 mph. Woolams returned to the "Skylanes Unlimited" base, and by late August 30th had a new engine installed. He took the racer out over Lake Ontario for a test flight and died after crashing into the lake at over 400 mph. It was thought that the extra torque from the modified engine/prop caused the rear fuselage to twist and air pressure at the high speed combined to cause the canopy wind screen to implode into Woolams. On September 3rd, Tex Johnston in Cobra I went on to win the 300 mile long Thompson Trophy race at an average speed of 373 mph. Tex Would go on to Fame as one of Boeing's finest test pilots, famous for his barrel rolls of the -80/707 prototype over the Lake Washington Hydro Races.
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Cobras I & II
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