ALTHOUGH we must wait until 1931 before we shall be able to witness once again the greatest of all flying events—The Schneider Contest— this year’s calendar already contains a round dozen fixtures of more than ordinary interest.
Foremost among these is the International Touting Competition for light aeroplanes, which is to take place during the period July 20—August 7. The Germans won the Competition last year, it will be remembered, and in consequence the arrangements for 1930 are being made by the Aero-Club von Deutchland. The contest will start and finish at a German ‘drome. The competition will be divided into two parts—a circuit of Europe of 4,690 miles, and a technical test. There will be some twenty-eight stopping places in the itinerary, and added interest will be given to the trial, from the point of view of people in England, by the fact that the competing machines will land at Croydon and Bristol on one stage of the route. Points will be allotted in the first part of the contest for speed, regularity, and fuel economy, and in the technical test the judges will award marks for such qualities as ease of starting, fire protection, comfort, and ease of erecting and dismantling ; there will also be take-off and landing tests.
The rules of the competition will be stringent, and, the course being a particularly arduous one, the winning pilot will well deserve the 100,000 francs which is to be offered as the first prize.
The King’s Cup.
In regard to the King’s Cup Race, the Royal Aero Club announces that it has been fixed for Saturday, July 5th. The course will be approximately 750 miles and the race will be confined to one day only, the start and finish being in London. A big and varied entry is anticipated and one or two new types of machines, I am told, will make their first public appearance on occasion of the race.
The Royal Air Force Display at Hendon is scheduled for Saturday, June 28th., and with. the King’s Cup coming just a week after, there will be plenty to interest air-minded Londoners during these two week ends. Other fixtures include the Leicester Flying Meeting, arranged by the Leicestershire Aero Club on the 19th of this month ; the Bristol Air Pageant on 31st May, when the Bristol Municipal Aerodrome is to be officially opened ; the Northampton Aero Club’s meeting at Sywell ; an air rally at Haldon (21st June) and a pageant at the new municipal aerodrome at Ipswich (26th June). On 26th July the Norfolk and Norwich Aero Club will
hold a big meeting at their ‘drome at Norwich and on the 20th of the month following, that enterprising body, the Lancashire Club will combine with the Liverpool and District A. ro Club in the staging of an elaborate air pageant. N.F.S. also intend to hold three air meetings at the London Air Park at Hanworth this year, and two at each of the provincial clubs associated with them. So far as possible, the dates selected will avoid clashing with other events. The meetings for which provisional dates have been fixed, up to the moment, are :—
Reading—Saturday next, 5th April and 7th June ; Hull-12th April and 19th July ; Hanworth—Easter Monday, 21st April and 27th September ; Leeds-26th April and 13th July ; Nottingham-15th June.
The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Aero Club, as the first N.F.S. club outside Hanworth to be fully organised, is going full-out to make a big show next Saturday. On the eve of the pageant, a ball will be held at the Town Hall, Reading, to which all visiting pilots are invited.
I hear that the N.P.S. stunt circus consisting of Messrs. Schofield, Wilson and Mackenzie, who “did their staff” at the Hull Pageant last October, have been busy lately with formation practice in preparation for these meetings and their presence at the various ‘dromes will undoubtedly make things go.
Designers, nowadays, are giving increasing attention to the matter of the pilot’s view-obstruction in light ‘planes, and various means are being adopted to improve the forward visibility. The mounting of the engine in an inverted position, as found on the new Moth III., is an example, and considering the obvious advantages offered by this upside-down arrangement, I should not be surprised if other makers soon follow the lead set by the D.H. concern.
The inverted engine, by the way, is no novelty for, although it never became popular, a unit of this type was made as long ago as 1913. This was a 70 h.p. fourcylindered motor, made by the German Daimler Co. It was water-cooled, with overhead valves and the cylinders were cast in pairs.
An up-to-date German version of the inverted engine, it may be remembered, was exhibited at the Aero Show last year—the 80 h.p. air-cooled four-in-line Argus. This type of engine is used in an interesting German monoplane—the Arado L.II., a cantilever high-wing, cabin machine with side-by-side seating.