“If I were able, I would pack the data up in a suitcase and bring it to Connecticut and stay to supervise the restoring of the plane. That’s just how interested I am in seeing the work completed.”
- E.M. Laird in a letter to CAHA, NEAM News no. 15, June 1964
In 1930, the Chicago National Air Races were on the mind of aircraft designer E.M. "Matty" Laird. Winning the Thompson Trophy was difficult under normal circumstances; it was almost impossible given Laird had just one month to design and build an aircraft for the race. Yet in just three weeks, Laird designed a "Solution." Completed right before the Thompson Trophy Race and flown by pilot Charles "Speed" Holman, the Laird Solution won the prestigious Thompson Trophy while simultaneously setting a speed record.
CAHA acquired the Laird Solution in the early 1960s as part of its new aircraft collection. The goal was to restore the plane to its original 1930 racing appearance. Matty Laird was in contact with CAHA frequently, and Harvey Lippincott was able to take notes from Laird’s extensive memory. CAHA also kept in contact with the National Air Museum (now the National Air and Space Museum), as they were making plans to restore their Laird “Supersolution” around the same time. The Solution sat for many years until in 1974 restoration work began under the direction of Hank Palmer and Leo Fanning. The Laird Solution now sits fully restored amongst the other racing planes at the New England Air Museum, adding to one of the largest collections of Thompson Trophy winning aircraft.