Model Airplane News
March, 1958

Model Airplane News Cover for March, 1958 by Jo Kotula Laird L-DW-300 Solution

Laird L-DW-300 "Solution"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for March, 1958
by Jo Kotula
Click to Enlarge

In 1919, Emil Matthew “Matty” Laird moved to Wichita from Chicago based on financial backing from an oil millionaire who thought that kansas was the ideal place to build airplanes. Laird had been designing and building biplanes for eight years. His popular "Swallow", a three-place, open cockpit biplane with room for two [paying] passengers in the front cockpit, was of some note to barnstormers.

 The Laird L-DW-300 Solution    The Laird L-DW-300 Solution      The Laird L-DW-300 Solution

Laird L-DW-300 "Solution"
Click to Enlarge

Early in 1924 the E.M. Laird Airplane Company was doing business in rented facilities near Ashburn Field. Laird introduced a new biplane designated the Laird “Commercial” - a three-place, open cockpit machine with engine enclosed in a streamlined, all-metal cowling. The Commercial was well received by pilots but demand was low, with only a few airplanes built in 1924-1926. Laird lost money in all three years. Laird was helped by the 1926 Air Commerce Act. that required licensing of pilots and mechanics and the registration of aircraft. In addition, the law required that all aircraft comply with specific minimum airworthiness standards and receive certification by the federal government. This gave an advantage to existing manufacturers like Laird. in the wake of Lindbergh’s highly newsworthy flight, Laird’s business grew and production accelerated.

During the late 1920s the company introduced new models such as the LC-B and LC-1B, and the powerful LC-R. Knowing the value of good publicity, Laird also built special racing ships, specifically the LC-DW-300 “Solution” that won the 1930 Thompson Trophy Race. In 1931 Laird built the LC-DW-500 “Super Solution” that was flown to victory in the Bendix cross-country race by World War I ace, James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle. As far as history is concerned, the "Super Solution" is the more famous airplane.

No footage of the Laird L-DW-300 "Solution" exists, but this is a video of a large scale model of the airplane:

Click Here for more information about the Laird L-DW-300 "Solution".

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