The first Shoestring was designed by Rodney Kreimendahl in 1949 as a Formula 1 Class Air Racer. The Museum’s aircraft was originally built by Chip Lythe and registered in 1972 as N24ML under the name “Nobigthing.” In 1987, Dave Morss rebuilt the aircraft with a stronger wing and raced under the name “Woodstock.” Sometime in the 1990s, the aircraft was rebuilt by the Doster/Rediker/Entriken Race Team, where it raced under the name “Spud Runner.” In a 1999 qualifying race, Entriken posted a speed average of 203 mph over a 110 mile course.
In the following years, the history of “Spud Runner” is somewhat unknown, but apparently suffered significant fuselage damage in a racing accident. Now under the ownership of Gary Davis, N24ML underwent a complete rebuild and entered the 2008 Reno National Championship Air Races as “Time Bandit.” Unfortunately, two weeks prior to Reno as the aircraft was being assembled and readied for flight testing, Davis discovered glue joints between the ribs and spars had failed, causing significant flexing of the wing skin. Concerned about the aircraft’s airworthiness, Davis withdrew from the 2008 Reno Air Races and returned home. Rather than reconstructing the wings, a costly and time consuming process, Davis donated the Shoestring F1 Air Racer “Time Bandit” to the Frontiers of Flight Museum.
Special thanks to Museum volunteers Ken Branscome, Joe Swift, Clint Haxton, Charlie Viosca, Ron McIntosh, and Gary Seidel for their hard work and dedication in the two-year restoration process of this aircraft. In 2018, “Time Bandit” returned to the air in a place of prominence high above the Museum’s Main Gallery.