I was under the impression that the original R-2 was practically a health hazard, and here's Delmar doing aerobatics right on the deck in a replica of one. Looks hair-raising to me, given the little I understand about this a/c. So what's the deal? Excellent flying, and/or a replica that's much improved over the original? If the latter, what are the improvements?
In hearing the pilots of modern day Gee Bee replicas most have said yes.... there were and are tricky to fly. Consider the fact that in the 1930s when the originals were built these pilots were low time. They had learned to fly in low powered Wacos, Jennys, Travel Airs and Curtiss Robins! So to move up to high powered racing airplanes there wasnt much to go on as far as what these ships might handle like! Doolittle had flown a wide variety of high performance aircraft at the time... and went on to race the Gee Bee with success. The other pilots who crashed in Gee Bees just had different flying back grounds and might have given the Gee Bee its bad name based on their different flying skills and personal judgements. Delmar came from airshow flying in a Bucker and had flown various types of high performance aerobatic types. So his background looks to have prepared him for flying the Gee Bee well!
My 2 cents.