The Cross Country Pilots Association

Rick Masters and Russell Lee in the XCPA headquarters.

Russell Lee, curator of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, was in charge of several collections, including sailplanes, hang gliders ultralights and Japanese WWII aircraft. On my invitation, he flew out from Washington, D.C. to observe the 1984 contest.

In 1994, he was deeply involved in the restoration of the four remaining Horton flying wing sailplanes on loan from the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin.

In 2011, he wrote Only the Wing: Reimar Horten’s Epic Quest to Stabilize and Control the All-Wing Aircraft (Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press).

Today, Russ Lee is Chair of the Smithsonian’s Aeronautics Department.