It just so happens that Lance Borden, the grandson of the Inland Sport designer, held a presentation on this airplane at our Chapter meeting last Tuesday. Here is his description from our newsletter.
Lance Borden and his 1929 Inland Sport Monoplane
By Lance S. Borden
I want to tell you a little about my 1929 Inland Sport airplane.
First of all, my grandfather, Lawrence Dewey Bonbrake, was born in Woodston, Kansas in 1899. He loved aviation and was 4-years-old when the Wright Brothers flew in 1903. He was a barnstormer in 1920 with a Curtiss JN-4 Jenny.
My grandmother fell in love with the dashing young barnstormer and they were married in 1922. He attended Valparaiso University and became an airplane designer. He designed the Inland Sport in about 1927 and built and flew the prototype in 1928.
He found financial backing and started making Inland Sport airplanes at Fairfax Airport in Kansas City in late 1928. The first production Inland Sport was announced in September 1929. They made somewhere between 46 and 90 airplanes until the Great Depression put them into bankruptcy in 1932.
My grandfather never really got over the disappointment of the collapse of Inland Aviation. He went on to work for many aviation companies until he finally died of a stroke at the young age of 56 in 1955. I remember him very well, even though he died when I was only nine-years-old. He was an inspiration to me and is precisely why I have spent my life working in Aerospace.
Inland Sport airplanes went on to set World Speed and Altitude records in 1929 and 1930. They won many races at the 1930 National Air Races in Chicago. Several of those races were flown by women, such as May Haizlip, Vera Dawn Walker, and Marty Bowman.
In August, 1931 Marty Bowman flew Inland Sport, Super Sport, registration NC252N from San Diego to Cleveland in the Continental Derby that later became the Powder Puff Derby. She won third place in that race.
I have known about Inland Sport airplanes and always wanted to see one ever since I was a little kid. For several years I have been gathering information on Inland Sport airplanes for a book I intend to write. I found the locations and owners of the seven existing Inland Sports that are still registered with the FAA. My research led me to visit two owners of Inlands and also allowed me to find one that was for sale.
In July 2007, I was able to purchase Inland Sport, Super Sport, model W-500, registration NC252N. I brought it back from Louisville, Kentucky in a U-Haul 26-foot moving van. I have been working on it ever since, as much as time and money have allowed. I have it about 1/3 restored as of now. This is a very historical airplane, having been flown by both May Haizlip and Marty Bowman. I have documentation to prove this.
I am 63 years old and retired from Boeing a year ago. I have a private pilot license and A&P license. I am working part-time, 20 hours a week as a sub-contractor to Boeing supporting the man who replaced the man who replaced me in the Shuttle program.
I keep the Inland Sport, NC252N that I am restoring and my 1948 Luscombe, model 8-F, registration N1372B that I fly, in hangar “CB” at Ellington Field.