Randy & Andy
Randy & Andy Woodbridge
Grandson & great grandson
Pioneering pilot inspires grandson to soar
Record flight commemorated with plane replica
Henderson resident Randy N. Woodbridge has commemorated his grandfather, pioneer pilot Walter E. Lees, by building a replica of the plane he broke a record with in 1931.

Lees set a non-refueling endurance record in a Packard-Diesel powered Bellanca, which stood until 1986. The flight was 84 hours and 32 seconds and took place in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

"That plane doesn't exist anymore," Woodbridge said. "The guy he sold it to couldn't handle it. It flies really weird. I'm amazed my grandfather was able to handle it."

The replica Woodbridge built is a 1/22-scale, radio-controlled, electric-powered model of the original. He used pictures he could find from his aunt Jo Cooper's book "Pioneer Pilot," and the Web site Ralph Cooper maintains about Lees,

Randy with Model & Controller

Walter E. Lees Photo
from Jo Cooper's book "Pioneer Pilot"