Airplane Racing

A History, 1909–2008

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SKU: 9780786443000 Categories: ,

About the Book

This is the history of air racing from its beginnings in 1909 at Reims, France, to the end of the 2008 racing season at Reno, Nevada. The history of air racing is very much the history of aviation, with glamorous pilots, some of military fame (e.g., Jimmy Doolittle), and builders (e.g., Glenn Curtiss), machines that captivated the national imagination, and many relatively unknown tinkerers and designers.

About the Author(s)

Don Berliner is the author of several air racing books and has written more than 300 magazine articles. He is the editor of Golden Pylons, the newsletter of the Society of Air Racing Historians and has officiated at air races in the United States, England, and France. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Don Berliner
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 266
Bibliographic Info: 91 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4300-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

Section One: Before World War I
1. The First Race at Reims      9
2. Overly Ambitious European Cross-Country Races      16
3. Weekly Handicap Races in England      27
4. The 1909–1913 Gordon Bennett Cup and Speed Records      33
5. The 1913–1914 Schneider Cup for Seaplanes      42

Section Two: Between the Wars
6. The Last Gordon Bennett Race, 1920      47
7. Streamlining and Power Light Up the 1919–1923 Schneider Cup Series      51
8. The 1920–1925 Pulitzer Trophy Races Stimulate American Military Racer Development      57
9. The 1922–1929 Kings Cup Races: Jolly Competition in a Garden Party Setting      63
10. The 1927 Dole Race Disaster: On to Hawaii and into the Pacific      67
11. The 1925–1928 Military-Oriented U.S. National Air Races      72
12. The 1929 U.S. National Air Races and the Thompson Trophy Race      76
13. The 1925–1931 Schneider Cup Races: Rampant Nationalism      87
14. The 1930–1934 National Air Races: GeeBees and Wedell Williams      93
15. The 1934 MacRobertson Race: The World’s Greatest Air Race?      108
16. The 1933–1936 Coupe Deutsch de la Muerthe and the Sleek Caudrons      114
17. British Racing of the 1930s      124
18. The 1935–1939 U.S. National Air Races: Dwindling Participation      127

Section Three: Post–World War II
19. The 1946–1949 Cleveland National Air Races      133
20. The 1950–1960 Period: Midget Racing Keeps the Sport Alive      147

Section Four: The Reno Air Races Era
21. 1964: The National Air Races Return in the Desert      153
22. The 1960s      160
23. The 1970s      176
24. The 1980s      191
25. The 1990s      204
26. The 2000s      216
27. Formula One Invades Europe      229
28. Short-Lived and Minor Classes      233

Summary and Outlook      239
Chapter Notes      243
Bibliography      247
Index      249

Book Reviews & Awards

“data-packed…excellent”—SpeedReaders.