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Steen Skybolt

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Wikimedia Commons / Anthony Noble
A Steen Skybolt
The Steen Skybolt

In the late sixties, shop students at Denver’s Manual High School were given an unusual project: build a plane designed by their teacher, Lamar Steen. He was a big man, and as an avid aerobatic pilot he'd spent a lot of time cramped into small stunt planes. So he designed a high-performance biplane that could accommodate a larger pilot more comfortably and be easy enough for amateur builders. 

In just over a year, Mr. Steen's students produced a prototype, then watched as their teacher climbed into the open cockpit, took off down the runway, propelled into the blue Colorado sky and turned loop after loop after loop. They called the design the Steen Skybolt, after the Manual High School mascot, the Thunderbolt. And since that first Skybolt in 1970, many more have been built around the world, nurturing STEM skills, and allowing many more to defy gravity.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.