Tom Nallen, aviation historian

The fastest planes in the world: The incredible Gee Bees of Massachusetts and the quest for speed in Aviation’s Golden Age

In a few short Depression-era years, five Granville Brothers from rural New Hampshire went from ploughing fields with oxen to developing the fastest airplanes in the world. And it happened right here in Massachusetts.

Through triumph and tragedy, innovation and hard work, the Brothers, together with a few daring young men and women aviators, rose up to set world records and alter the course of history.

This is a timeless and inspirational story of achievement against all odds. This is the story of the Gee Bee, a true American icon whose bold design continues to echo through modern life. It will include the designers, pilots and colorful personalities who participated in the Gee Bee’s meteoric rise to the top of the air-racing world in the 1930s. It will also touch on the innovative technical characteristics of the world record-setting Gee Bee racers and the bold design cues that have inspired artists and designers for generations. A brief overview of the Gee Bee and Granville Brothers exhibits at the Springfield Museum of Science in Springfield, MA and the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT will be included.

Tom Nallen

Tom Nallen ( is a Massachusetts-based aviation historian.

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