Cessna CR-3

The Cessna CR-3 was a follow on racing aircraft to the Cessna CR-2 that raced in the 1932 National Air Races.[1]

Cessna CR-3
Role Air racer
National origin United States of America
Manufacturer Cessna
Designer Clyde Cessna, Eldon Cessna
First flight June 11, 1933
Introduction June 17, 1933
Retired August 1933
Status Crashed
Number built 1
Developed from Cessna CR-2


The CR-3 was ordered by air racer Johnny Livingston in response to the performance he saw when competing against the Cessna CR-2 in the 1932 National Air Races. The CR-3 was of shoulder-wing design.


The CR-3 was a mid-wing radial engined taildragger racer with manual retractable landing gear and a tail skid. The propeller was from a clipped wing Monocoupe racer #14. The tail surface was designed to be neutral, without downforce in flight. The elevators experienced significant vibration in test flights without the wing root fairings installed.

Operational history

The CR-3 lasted 61 days, winning every event it competed in:

  • Omaha Air Races at Omaha, Nebraska, June 17, 1933: First place.[2]
  • Minneapolis Air Races and Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 24, 1933: First place.
  • American Air Races at Chicago, Illinois, July 1, 1933: The CR-3 first raced against Cessna CR-2 at these races. The CR-3 won the Baby Ruth Trophy at a speed of 201.42 mph (324.35 km/hr).[3] It also set a world speed record for aircraft with engines of under 500-cubic-inches′ (8.2 liters′) capacity at 237.4 mph (382.3 km/hr).
  • Aero Digest Trophy race, July 4, 1933: First place.

En route to an airshow in August 1933, the CR-3 experienced a failure of both the tail skid and a landing gear weld that would not allow the gear to lock. Livingston bailed out over Columbus, Ohio and the CR-3 was destroyed in its ensuing crash.


Data from Sport Aviation

General characteristics

  • Length: 17 ft (5.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 18 ft 5 in (5.61 m)
  • Height: 4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)
  • Empty weight: 750 lb (340 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Warner Super Scarab Radial, 145 hp (108 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 222 kn (255 mph, 410 km/h) demonstrated
  • Stall speed: 56 kn (65 mph, 105 km/h)

See also

Related development


  1. Sport Aviation. Feb 1958. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. "Cessna CR-3 History". Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  3. "Cessna CR-3". Retrieved 16 April 2011.
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