THE KING’S CUP RACE 42 STARTED 31 FINISHED 12413 M.P.H. Mr W. L. HOPE WINS AT A SPEED OF
THE King’s Cup Air Race which took place on the 8th and 9th July, attracted an entry comparable with the importance of the event. Last year, it will be remembered,
entries were confined to machines belonging to private owners, and the race lost much of its interest as a result. This year conditions were widened to allow the entry of any commercial machine, provided that it was entered by an individual, and as a result we saw on the programme, the Spartan and Avro mailplanes, the ” Meteor ” and two of the new Monospars. While these machines are rather out of the reach of the average amateur pilot, their appearance was welcome as a reply to the Lockheed Vega and other high performance American planes which have been swarming across the Atlantic during the last few months.
The mileage of the course, like the speed of the machines, has further increased, and this year the distance to be covered was a little over 1,200 miles. The first days course took in the South and the Midlands, with a leg out to Ipswich, while the second day’s racing took place over two shorter circuits, the machines land
ing at Brooklands before setting out on the second lap. In this way spectators on Saturday were never long without seeing one or other of the competitors, and the winner crossed the finishing line at 4.27
De Havillands as usual predominated in numbers, there being 6 Moths, one, piloted by Capt. H. S. Broad, being fitted with the new Gipsy III A., 10 Puss Moths and the new rox Moth, W. L. Hope up, also fitted with the III A., 5 Avro Avians were entered either with Hermes or Genet engines, a Cadet with the Genet Major, a 4-M with the same, and one example of the very neat monoplane, flown by Lieut. Casper John, R.N. The Avro mailplane with a Panther HA. completed the make. Only one example of the ” Bluebird IV,”. last year’s winning machine, was entered, together with two of the new BII trainers. Nine Comper Swifts were entered, the most interesting of course being the one entered by H.R.H. the
Prince of Wales and flown by FL Lt. Fielden. It was fitted with a Gipsy III inverted engine instead of the usual Pobjoy and the increase of horse-power from 75 to 120 was penalised by making it start one from scratch.
On Friday an early start was the order of the day, the limit men, J. F. Legard and 0. H. Kent, being dispatched at 8.00 hours. Conditions for once were excellent and continued so throughout the day. Early starters were W. 14. Hope on the Fox Moth and Nliss Winifred Brown on an Avro Avian, the former a winner in 1927 and 1928 and Miss Brown in 1930. By 9.30 most of the field were away and at 10.6 A. J. Styran and FL Lt. Vielden (Comper Swifts) took off. Fl. Lt. Fielden is of course the Prince of Wales’ pilot, and his machine fitted with a Gypsy III was much fancied for a win. The orange Avro Mailplane which was scratch, left at 11.16—not much hope unless its slower competitors were delayed by the weather.
By this time reports of progress had come in from various points. Nothing much had happened on the way to Abingdon, but by the time the competitors had reached Portsmouth Mr. W. L. Hope was in the lead, and J. Grierson (Moth) also gained a number of places. At Bristol which was the first control, Hope was still in the lead, Sq. Ldr. Runciman (Puss Moth) had picked up 10 places and other late starters were working off their handicaps in similar fashion. Vt. Lt. Fielden was reported to have had difficulty in taking off at Bristol, but had passed nine other pilots on his way there. About this time the Rt. Hon. F. E. Guest (Tomtit-Mongoose) returned to Brooklands and retired. He had lost most of his oil and after landing at Farnborough to rectify the fault had lost too much time to have any chance of success. Pilot-Officer H. R. A. Edwards, brother of last year’s winner, damaged his machine in a forced landing near Runcorn.
At Leicester W. L. Hope was first in, Miss Spooner (Moth) second, Lord Douglas-Hamilton was 4th and Sq. Leader Runciman and H. L.
Irwin (Puss Moths), 5th and 6th. Very encouraging for D. H. fans ! By the time they reached Brooklands the two last-mentioned pilots were 2nd and 3rd, the leader retaining his position. FL Lt. Fielden was actually second however, since numbers after 28 were delayed 40 minutes to avoid congestion at Bristol. Saturday promised to be as hot and windless as the preceding day, and a good many of the spectators must have wished they were not bound to earth. The starting order of the competitors on the second day was determined by the remainder of their handicap allowance,
to which was added or subtracted their gain or loss on handicap of the previous day’s flying. Mr. W. 14. Hope was the first to take off, at 11.30, followed by Sq. Ldr. Runciman and Fl. Lt. Fielden. Unless something untoward happened Mr. Hope was a certain winner, and the Comper’s performance on Friday left little doubt as to who would be second. It was still in third place when it landed after the first circuit, but caught up the Puss Moth on the Portsmouth course, and landed with about 15 minutes to spare. This was fortunate, for Fielden failed to cross the finishing line on arrival, and was forced to take off again and fly between the arrows. The handicappers had gone considerably astray in their estimate of the speed of the Avro Mailplane, which was about to leave on its last lap just as the winner crossed the
line. It had averaged over 176 m.p.h. over the morning circuit, so in spite of a broken flying wire Mr. Brown took off again and in an incredibly short space of time returned to make the record for the course, at an average speed of 175.9 m.p.h.
An examination of the winning machine showed that besides the substitution of the Gipsy III A. for the III, the petrol tank had been moved into the fuselage. These alterations were unexpectedly successful and coupled with Mr. Hope’s experience in. former King’s Cup Races, enabled him to win very comfortably.
The Comper flown by Fl. Lt. Fielden was little altered except for the lengthening of the fuselage to take the Gypsy III engine. He flew an excellent race after only a short experience with the machine.
First Six Finishers.
1. W. L. Hope, Pox Moth, (Gypsy III A.) 124.13 m.p.h. (average speed).
2. Fl. Lt. Fielden, Comper Swift, (Gypsy III.), 155.74 m.p.h.
3. Sq. Ldr. Rtmcitna.n, Puss Moth, (Gypsy III), 130.28 m.p.h.
4. A. G. C. Irwin, Puss Moth, (Gypsy III), 129.04 m.p.h.
5. H. S. Broad, Moth, (Gypsy 111 A.), 131.34 m.p.h.
6. Lt. Cdr. G. Rodd, Puss Moth, (Gypsy III), 128.31 m.p.h.
Siddeley Cup, Sq. Ldr. Runciman.
Fastest Time : H. A. Brown, Avro Mailplane (Panther) 175.9.