The fuselage produces lift, and has a greater projected area than the wing. Having seen Delmar perform a sustained climb in knife edge, I can verify that it will, indeed, fly on the fuselage with enough airspeed.It always looked to me like it would still fly without the wings!
I recently discussed with Steve the differences between the original airframe and Delmar’s. (Steve jokingly tells people that Delmar’s wing span is 1/4” less, because “I got a little too enthusiastic when I was sanding the tip bows.”). Actually, the wing is the same as the original. The claim some have made that the airfoil and or the LE radius was changed is wrong.The story is the Smithsonian Institution gave them permission to take pictures and measurements of the original one so they could built the replica.
That’s incredible considering Laird’s contribution to the Turner Meteor was a new wing when as originally built (by Brown) it was apparently nearly unflyable.The pig of the replica racers is the Laird-Turner. Supposedly if feels like it is stalling when going 250 level. It survived and is in the Smithsonian. I think the replica was a disappointment that it was not as flyable as the GeeBee was.
Steve said that he has heard that so many times that he has given up on trying to educate / correct people.I had been under the impression that Benjamin had changed the airfoil slightly to unload the tail and settle the airplane down a little bit, but that's something I heard instead of something I know.