Bull Dog - $$4.95

This second race plane designed and built by Bob Hall was a beautiful gull wing design. It was a single place speedster which was expected to be the equal of any other ship entered in the Cleveland National Air Races. This, of course, meant that an exciting rivalry was shaping up in Springfield between the Granvilles and the new Hall group.

Hall Bull Dog downloadable cardmodel

The HALL BULL DOG (Bulldog)

Hall Bull Dog


In the Thompson Trophy event competing against the Gee Bee R1 & R2 and three Wedell Williams Racers, the "Bulldog" finished in sixth place.It is speculated that a restricted air inlet kept the "Bulldog from showing its true potential.

The "Bulldog" was dismantled after the races were over and the engine was returned to Pratt&Whitney.

This is the SOOPER sized Hall Bulldog that results in a model with a span of 9 1/2 inches. Just like the original, it really doesn't fly very well but looks fantastic perched up on it's little stand.

The instructions are complete and easy to follow. Be sure to consult our help page and the 'reference library first. Errors and problem reports are ALWAYS very welcome! It's included on our Fiddlers Green CD.


Springfield Hall Bulldog


AS THE YEAR 1932 started its march across the calendar, air racing enthusiasts around the nation and especially in the intensely air-minded city of Springfield, Massachusetts eagerly awaited the completion of the two most unusual race planes of that era.

Hall BulldogBob Hall, who had recently split with the Granville Brothers of Gee Bee fame, decided to form his own new aircraft company at Bowles-Agawam Field across the Connecticut River from where the Granvilles had their shop.

Bob Hall had originally served the Granvilles as chief engineer, test pilot and draftsman. But after a heated dispute with Zantford Granville over race plane design, he decided to go it alone and build his own speed planes. This new group would be known as Springfield Aircraft, Inc.

With two firm orders in his hand, Bob Hall had leased a corner of the main hangar at Bowles Agawam Field where work began early in 1932 on the two never to be forgotten Hall racers.

Work began almost simultaneously on the two speed planes. The first was built on order for Flank Lynch, a wealthy sportsman. Lynch expected to fly this high wing plane around the world in a record attempt. It was considerably the larger of the two Hall designs and seated two people in a staggered side by-side arrangement.

As work progressed, Bob Hall turned his attention to the International Air Races at Niagara Falls New York which were to begin June 24, 1932. At 8:40 p.m. the evening before the big races were to begin at Niagara Falls, the two place aircraft took to the air for the first time with Bob Hall at the controls. Spectators commented that it resembled a giant moth as it flew through the twilight sky. Actually the new speed plane was intended to resemble an insect, in its paint scheme at least.

4 views of the Hall Bulldog

It was painted green with cream and brown designs on its wings and fuselage patterned after the Cicada, a type of Mexican locust. To complete the picture, eyes were painted on the engine cowling. With these facts in mind, it is easy to see why the name "Cicada" would forever identify this aircraft.

After its first test flight, which Hall considered a success, work continued on the ship late into the night. The morning of June 26th, Hall, bleary eyed from lack of sleep, flew the plane to Niagara Falls just in time for the final day of air racing. He had decided to race the "Cicada" at Niagara Falls just to see what the new speed plane could do in competition.

The Niagara Falls Manufacturer's Trophy Race was the big event on the 26th. It was a fifty mile free-for-all race with a high cash purse plus a trophy. When all was said and done, Bob Hall flying the "Cicada" placed fourth. His comparatively poor showing can be attributed to several factors. First, the "Cicada" was not primarily a pylon racing plane nor was it completely finished. Second, Hall was certainly not in tip-top shape after the last minute rush, and probably did not do as good a job of piloting as he was normally capable of.

Bob Hall then flew the "Cicada" home where he completed final details on the aircraft. It was then officially delivered to Frank Lynch who decided to enter the 1932 Bendix Trophy Race, in preparation for his round the world attempt. After considerable testing, Frank was forced to scratch his racer from the Bendix competition because of engine problems which could not be smoothed out in time for the start of the Bendix race.

Determined that he would race the "Cicada" one way or the other, Frank Lynch hastily began the task of fitting his speedster with a new Wasp Jr. engine, hoping to at least get in some pylon racing at Cleveland.

Hall BulldogAt this point in my story I would like to go back to early 1932 and the second race plane that Bob Hall was building under contract. It also was due to be finished in time to compete in the 1932 Cleveland Air Races that were to begin August 27th and run through September 5th.

This second race plane designed and built by Bob Hall was a beautiful gull wing design. It was a single place speedster which was expected to be the equal of any other ship entered in the Cleveland National Air Races. This, of course, meant that an exciting rivalry was shaping up in Springfield between the Granvilles and the new Hall group.

The new gull winged racer was built under contract for Marion Price Guggenheim of the New York family, well known for their support of all types of aeronautical activities. The contract stipulated that only Russell Thaw or a pilot designated by him, would be permitted to fly the new race plane. Young Thaw was known as the playboy of east coast society circles and worked as chief pilot for the Guggenheim family, flying a Lockheed Air Express and a Vega. Mrs. Guggenheim would later christen this new race plane the "Bulldog", in honor of the famed Yale University mascot.

Hall chose the gull wing design because he thought it would produce longitudinal stability. He also designed a rather intricate exhaust system with pipes exiting at right angles to the air stream and flush with outer contours of the engine cowling . . . the theory being to create a low pressure area in the exhaust ports to better scavenge exhaust gases, thus increasing the volumetric efficiency of the supercharger. The engine was the same as mounted in the "Cicada", a P&W Wasp Jr., which developed 535 hp. Hamilton Standard made available to Hall one of their first handmade controllable pitch propellers for use on the "Bulldog". The wing span was 26 feet with a fuselage length of 19 feet. The racer was painted red and black with a white separator stripe and was assigned race No. 6 for the Cleveland races.

As July slipped into August, feverish preparations were carried on by the Hall group to ready the "Bulldog" for the Cleveland Nationals. The schedule called for an early August test program before the racer would be turned over to Russell Thaw, the chosen race pilot.

Hall Bulldog

Hall held to his schedule and began the testing of the "Bulldog" early in August 1932. His speedy gull wing racer almost came to grief on its very first test flight. As he roared down the runway on his first take-off, the "Bulldog" started to roll to the left at about 10 feet of altitude. Hall cut the engine and got the wing up enough to clear the ground as it fell back to earth on its left wheel. Skillfully he brought the other wheel down and the airplane rolled to a stop. The excess shock caused the left tire to blow out with resulting damage to the wheel pants, which was easily repaired. The "Bulldog's" fin was then modified three times and the rudder four times, before Hall was satisfied with the ship's flight characteristics. This was because the gull wing was directionally destabilizing to a degree that Hall had not foreseen. While this was going on, the ejector exhaust system was removed because insufficient time remained to iron out various unforeseen details of heat expansion and contraction of various parts.

Russell Thaw, the chosen race pilot, then got the chance to fly the "Bulldog". At the last minute Thaw expressed dissatisfaction with the airplane. He indicated that he probably would not fly the plane during the National Air Races after all. There was no indication of whether he would choose a substitute pilot or if Hall himself might fly the plane. Hall's associates were very disappointed over this sudden turn of events and it was hoped that money could be raised to repurchase the plane from Mrs. Guggenheim. The plane had been officially delivered to Thaw only a few hours before his decision to withdraw it from the races.

Hall Bulldog

Russell Thaw was quoted by newsmen as saying. "The ship is not my idea of a racer". He declined to elaborate on the statement and things were pretty much up in the air. Hall meanwhile flew the plane to Roosevelt Field to confer with Mrs. Guggenheim. He reportedly had managed to dig up enough money for the ship's repurchase. This did not transpire but at least he came away from the conference with permission to fly the plane himself in the Cleveland races. At least Hall would not be denied the chance to test his design against that of the Granville group in the famous Thompson Trophy Race. He had missed his chance to enter the Bendix race because of his lengthy conference with Mrs. Guggenheim.

Meanwhile, Frank Lynch had just completed the installation of the new Wasp Jr. engine in his "Cicada" as Bob Hall arrived back at Bowles-Agawam Field with permission to fly the "Bulldog" at Cleveland. They had both missed the Bendix race, so with all due speed they climbed into their airplanes and headed for Cleveland and hopefully some good pylon racing.

.Hall Bulldog

At Cleveland preparations were getting underway for the Shell speed dashes, qualifying event for the famous Thompson Trophy Race. Much to everyone's delight, the Hall "Bulldog" and the Hall "Cicada" came in over the canvas-covered Brookpark Road fence, (the north boundary of the Cleveland Airport), and taxied up to the hangar line. Once in Cleveland the new engine on the "Cicada" began to act up and Lynch and his airplane were forced to sit out the entire Cleveland races. Bob Hall and the "Bulldog" fared much better as Hall qualified his racer at 243.717 mph in the Shell speed dash, which meant he would be a competitor in the Thompson race.

The 1932 Thompson Trophy race would be 10 laps around a 10-mile course. It was flown on Monday afternoon, September 5th. The "Big Daddy" of closed-course air racing events drew eight contestants: Jimmy Doolittle in the Gee Bee R-1, Lee Gehlbach flying the Gee Bee R-2 Jimmy Wedell, Roscoe Turner and James Haizlip in their Wedell Williams Specials, Bob Hall in his red, black and white "Bulldog", Bill Ong in Howard's "Ike" and Ray Moore in the "San Francisco I". With a quick chop of the starter's flag and the boom of a mortar, the racers were off in a race-horse start.

Hall BulldogHall was first off the ground and around the scatter pylon, but Doolittle in the Gee Bee R-1 passed him almost at once and began pulling away. In the second lap, Ray Moore dropped out with engine trouble and Hall fell back into sixth place. Jimmy Wedell moved up to second place, Turner third, Haizlip fourth, Gehlbach fifth and Ong brought up the rear. The race ended in that order. Jimmy Doolittle lapped the entire field at least once and roared over the finish line trailing smoke and pulling farther ahead with each revolution of the Gee Bee's eight foot prop. Doolittle's average speed, a new closed-course record, was 252.7 mph. Wedell in second place had 242.5 mph. Bob Hall placed sixth at 215.57 mph. Needless to say, he was a very disappointed young man. Once again the Granville brothers had proved their ideas for fast aircraft were correct.

There was some conjecture, after the race, that the basic pitch settings on the experimental Hamilton Standard controllable pitch propeller on Hall's "Bulldog" did not permit the Wasp Jr. to develop peak power during the closed course Thompson event. Hamilton Standard, as well as Pratt and Whitney engineers, analyzing the "Bulldog's" sluggish performance were anxious to correct the horsepower shortage, but this never did come about.

Hall Bulldong imagezA short time after the 1932 Cleveland Air Races a disappointed, disillusioned and disgusted Bob Hall dismantled the "Bulldog" so that it would never race again. Cleveland Model Supply, a well known Cleveland model airplane kit manufacturer acquired the cowling, wheel pants and cockpit canopy, the only large pieces remaining after the aircraft was torn apart. These last remaining parts of the "Bulldog" were eventually donated to a scrap metal collection in Cleveland during World War II. The "Cicada" on the other hand met a different fate.

After sitting out the 1932 Cleveland races, Frank Lynch flew his racer back to Bowles-Agawam airport where it was to be gone over in preparation for future competition. A short time later after some minor reworking, Frank Lynch climbed into the cockpit for a routine test flight. But as it turned out, this would be the last flight for both Frank Lynch and the "Cicada". For as the "Cicada" roared down the runway and became airborne, it suddenly veered from its line of flight and clipped a corner of a hangar top, crashed and burned as horrified spectators watched in disbelief.

Hall Bulldog

The Bulldog Thompson


Trophy Racer was designed and built by Robert engineering/test pilot in the early 1930s who had worked for the Granville Brothers and helped them design the famous Gee Bee-Z, after a disagreement with the Granville's, Hall left the group and went on to design his own airplanes. First was a two place airplane to fly in the England to Melbourne Race, the airplane was named Chicada and was painted to look like an insect.

His second airplane design, financed by the Guggenheim family was a small single place, gull winged airplane to fly in the 1932 Cleveland National Air Races and the Thompson Race.The gull wing feature of the "Bulldog" caused a problem in directional control stability, and several modifications of the vertical fin and rudder were made, the fin and rudder area above the wing level was increased to escape turbulence from the gull wing, reversal of lateral control was experienced with the ailerons, before downward deflection was eliminated.

Bulldog Racer Bulldog Racer

In qualifying for the Thompson Race the Bulldog reached a speed of 243.717mph. In the
race the speed was a disappointing 215.57mph with a very brief top speed of 270mph

I'm attempting to do the wheel pants on the Bulldog and the WW.How do you do it? First three tries have ended in a mass of glue. What's the trick? Where do you start?


I would suggest making the tire out of some cardboard disks to the
desired thickness. On each half of the wheel pant glue the black top
strip to the side of the pant. You may want to leave a leave a little
bit of excess paper along the bottom edge of the top strip to use as a
tab when you glue it to the side. Then glue the half of the wheel pant
with the tabs to the wheel disk. Then glue the other half to the wheel
pant to the tire disk and the tabs along the top of the first pant
half. I think as long as you make a wheel disk to provide some support and spacing it should be rather easy to glue the pant halves together.

I hope this helps. Mike C.

Reply two:

I'm trying to do this from memory Cruz my CD is at home.

Lessee... two spats, four parts total. Each part is half of one spat and is
split along it's length from somewhere near it's narrow, pointed back toward
the wider, thicker front. The idea is to get the flat cardstock to
represent a rounded teardrop shape.

Hall Bulldog

My favorite way of building these is to first cut out the two halves of a
spat, then score each half from where the split starts towards the pointed
tail or end. I can then fold or bend the narrow top part of each half down
slightly. If one side has tabs along it's outside edge where it is to join
the other half (I can't remember, but one side must) then also score along
these tabs and bend them down.

Now, starting at the bottom front tab, begin applying glue (tacky works best
for me) all the way to the tail of the spat. Then, once the glue is on,
start at the first tab again and begin joining each tab to the other spat
half, crimping each tab when properly aligned. When you're happy with one
tab, move to the next until you reach the tail. This whole procedure
probably takes 30 seconds or so, and is harder to describe than actually do.

After the two halves are joined, it's now time to join the sides of each
half to their respective tops where they were split. I do the same procedure
as the top except I start at the back and work my way forward so as to avoid
any possible gaps that could roll up on me where the split ends.

Careful pinching and forming of the top and side joints is the key. If you
try to bend the top of the half-spat down too far (say 90 degrees) it won't
work. The front will must be maybe 10 degrees and the rear will be about 60
degrees. This makes the middle and tail of the spat stick up somewhat, but
the only remedy would be to modify the parts, which is something that Doc
was doing and maybe he can help in that area.

Check out the spats on the Bulldog here... see how the top is "peaked"? It
may not be perfectly to scale, but it works.

At any rate, I think the key is to join the two halves first, getting the
bend on the tabs right at the top/middle joint, and then join the split on
the sides.

Ohhhh, I almost forgot... if the plane doesn't have the new Zio-style
wheels, steal them from one of the racers that does. You can poke a hole
through them and put a cut-off toothpick through it and then glue the ends
of the toothpick to the insides of each spat to make great little "rolling"


Hall Bulldog

Specifications for the Hall Bull Dog

3 View of the Hall Bull Dog

Length: 19 ft
Wing Span: 26 fHall Bulldogt
Powerplant: P&W
Wasp JR 550 HP

Maximum Speed: 243.7 mph


If you are looking for the Arbor Day Bulldog Repainted by Gary Dare (even if it aint Arbor Day) then you should get it here.
Click on the pic
Easter Hall Bulldog