Planes of Fame Air Museum
Planes of Fame Air Museum
Home »  Collection »  Flying & Static Aircraft »  Rider R-6 '8 Ball'


  • Keith Rider's last design was the R-6, completed in time for the 1938 races. It was entirely covered in plywood, with the exception of the aluminum engine cowling. Like all Rider racers, it had a manually-operated landing gear, similar in design to that on the R-4 and R-5. The aircraft was painted pale blue and had a large "8-Ball" design on the fuselage and upper left wing. Rider hoped to use 8 as the aircraft's race number, but it drew race number 18 at the 1938 Nationals, so this number was painted behind the "8-Ball."
  • Joe Jacobson piloted the R-6 at the 1938 National Races. He placed third in the Greve race, with a speed of 218.3 mph. (other Rider racers placed first, fourth and sixth in the Greve.)  Jacobson also raced to a sixth-place finish in the Thompson race.
  • In 1939, the R-6 sported a new dusty medium blue paint scheme, retaining race number 18, but with the "8-Ball" markings removed. It also had a Hamilton Standard constant speed propeller. The counterweights on the propeller prohibited the use of a spinner.
  • George Byars was the pilot for the 1939 races. The R-6 was plagued by engine trouble during the races and failed to start in any event. This was the last year of the National Air Races at Cleveland, and the R-6 was retired after 1939.



  • Planes of Fame Air Museum's R-6 is the original R-6 racing aircraft, restored to its 1938 configuration featuring the "8-Ball" markings.



Status: Static Display
Manufacturer: Keith Rider
Year: 1938
Model: R-6 8-Ball
Registration Number: NX96Y
Serial Number: 
Crew: 1
Max T/O Weight: 1,800 lb.
Span: 18 ft. 5 in.
Length: 19 ft. 0 in.
Height: 6 ft. 4 in.
Maximum Speed: 230 mph
Cruise Speed: N/A
Rate of Climb: N/A
Power Plant: 1 × Menasco C6S-4 Buccaneer 6-cylinder air-cooled engine, 400 hp.
Range: N/A
Service Ceiling: N/A
Armament: N/A


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