King’s Cup Arrangements.
HE Royal Aero Club has released some details regarding the King’s Cup Race, which is to take place on Friday and Saturday, 8th and 9th July. The start and finish will be Brooklands, and the course will be as follows :—
First Day.—Brooklands-Lympne (turning point)— Portsmouth (turning point)—Bristol (control)—Castle Bromwich (turning point)—Hooton (turning point)— Woodford (turning point)—Leicester (control)—Ipswich (turning point)—Northampton-Brooklands (finish). The total distance for the first day’s course is 7471 miles.
Second Day.—Brooklands-Bristol (turning point)— Northampton (turning point)—Brooklands (control)— Shoreham (turning point)—Portsmouth (turning Point)— Bristol (turning point)—Brooklands (finish).
The selection of Brooklands as the venue of our premier air event of the year is significant of the fact that this aerodrome may become a principal centie of sporting flying once more.
In the eally days it vied with Hendon as a place for the public to witness the then new science of mechanical flight, but of recent years it has sunk rather into the background. I think this year will see its ” come-back,” for in addition to the King’s Cup, we shall also be able to see some pylon racing there before the season passes. Meanwhile the new club buildings which have been in course of erection for some time are now completed, and the amenities of Brooklands for visitors has thus been greatly increased.
The German Way.
While our own dubs are working under difficulties with the existing subsidy arrangements, those clubs which are operating in Germany have been going through even more trying times of late, for they have to rely entirely on their own funds in purchasing and running their aircraft. But the German is renowned for his resourcefulness, and the German Air Union, to which nearly every flying club in the Fatherland is allied, organised a competition some time ago for designs for light aeroplanes suitable for construction by dub members. Sundry designs were submitted, and after two of these had been approved, experimental machines were built. These were flown recently at the Berlin aerodrome, and from reports, they appear to be thoroughly practical. Both machines are real light ‘planes with 20 n.p. flat-twin Mercedes engines, and each is of the single-seater high-wing monoplane type. I wonder how long it will be before we shall see a revival of machines of this type in England.
When it was announced last month that the Royal Aero Club had awaided the Britannia Trophy for 1931 to Bert Hinkler (or to give him his full title—SquadronLeader H. J. L. Hinkler, A.F.C., D.S.M.) for his flight from New York to London, I am sure nobody was in the least surprised. And. everyone will agree with the Committee that this was the most meritorious performance in the air accomplished during the past year.
Hinkler, of course, had previously been awarded the Segrave Trophy, so it is satisfying to find that one great British pilot at least has received recognition in his own country. But for all this, and the many receptions, dinners, and so forth which were held in his honour, Bert, it seems, has failed to find an opening in England, and so he has gone back to the U.S.A. to try his luck there. And in doing so he is following the lead of quite a number of people who, either as aircraft designers, inventors, or just plain pilots, have given up hope of getting worth-while jobs in Britain and have gone to other climes.
For some time now, the opinion has been growing that America is going to be the big noise in the aircraft industry before many years have passed. Rumours have been going round that a huge syndicate has been formed there, and that they have plans ready whereby they intend to capture the world’s aeroplane market. A friend of mine gathered quite a lot of information about this story from no less a person than Prank Hawks, and the former assures me that there is more than a grain of truth in the tales which have been heard.
On the other hand, someone who has recently returned from the States reports that there is so little doing in the American aircraft trade just now that even a concern such as Curtiss is working with only a skeleton staff, while their hangars and shops are crammed with brand new machines—unsold.
Flying and Temperament.
I remember reading in some book on flying a remark to the effect that an instructor can tell in a few moments whether a pupil will turn out to be a pilot—or not. With this I do not agree. The psychology of the aviator is a most complicated business. You get some people who find flying boring and uninteresting at first (a strange type, this), others take to it at once, and quite a lot are scared stiff on their first flip. These first impressions, however, are nothing to go by; I have known the blasé type to alter their views considerably after a few hours in the air, the super-keen pupil to suddenly go all to pieces after 3 or 4 hours of solo flying, and the windy fellow to develop into a first-rate pilot. Of the latter type I remember one very striking example ; it was during the War. A certain officer under instruction came to my flight. He had had some twelve hours dual—a lot for those days—but he was definitely very nervous, and we watched him anxiously on his first solo. He didn’t crash, but he told. us frankly that he hated flying, and that he was terrified when in the air. However, we kept him at it, and while he never showed any brilliance, he did eventually get his” wings.” I heard later that he was flying S.E.’s overseas and had been awarded the M.C. for shooting up a German ‘drome. No, as I said before, I do not agree that “an instructor can tell in a moment whether a pupil will become a
pilot—or not.” ” RUDDERBAR.”