Golden Age Racers

    Early in the development of aviation a spirit of sporting and competition became a major aspect of its ever-growing appeal. Air races began to enjoy a worldwide popularity.  The first was established in 1912 by Jacques Schneider.  It was to be awarded annually to the winner of a race to be flown over water in seaplanes. Racing momentum built rapidly.   The period from the late 1920s to the mid-1930 was known as "The Golden Age of Air Racing."  Air races were sponsored by well intentioned entrepreneurs offering thousands of dollars in prize money.  The Pulitzer Trophy Race was sponsored by an American newspaperman, Ralph Pulitzer, to promote high speed in landplanes.  The Thompson Trophy was an American race.  The above picture shows Jimmy Doolittle flies Gee Bee to win the Thompson Trophy 1932. The race took place in Cleveland
      During the money-tight Great Depression, aircraft builders were enticed to produce race planes. The reality of flight soon progressed from flimsy aircraft with questionable power and poor controls, to aircraft designed for one purpose - speed.  Aviation pioneers from the military, aircraft companies, as well as lone individuals strove for the glory of crossing the finishing line first. They took the flimsy wood and canvas airplane and turned into a rugged sleek all-metal airplane, paving the way for the great age of aviation that followed.  These are some of the all-time greats:
  Curtiss R-3C Doolittle Won 1925 Pulitzer Trophy Race
  Granville Gee Bee Zee Won 1931 Thompson Trophy Race
  Granville R-1 Won 1932 Thompson Trophy Race
  Hall Bulldog Didn't win any races, but famous for unique design.
  Hughes H-1 Racing Plane World's fastest plane in 1935
  Laird-Turner LTR-14 Meteor Won 1938 and 1938 Thompson Trophy Race
  Laird LC-DW Super Solution Won 1931 Bendix Race
  Macchi-Castoli MC-72 World's fastest prop-driven seaplane.  Record still stands.
  Mr. Mulligan DGA-6 Racer Won Bendix and Thompson in 1935
  Wedell-Williams Red Lion Won numerous races.
  Supermarine S6B Floatplane Won 3 of 5 Schneider trophies and retired it. 
  Travel Air Mystery Ship Bold Gull-wing design.
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