THE BROOKLANDS-NEWCASTLE RACE
Annual Event Held Over from the Brooklands Air Display, Won by Hon. R. WESTENRA (Gipsy Moth).
RIGINALLY intended to be flown during the Brooklands Air Display last June, the annual Brooklands to Newcastle Air Race had to be postponed owing to the exceedingly bad weather which prevailed on that day.
Fortunately, the morning of the race was fine, with a slight wind providing an additional test of competitors’ skill in navigation. Many of the entrants flew over from Heston early and were lined up in front of the Clubhouse, before taxying across to the starting line.
First away was Lt.-Col. L. A. Strange in. a blue Spartan Arrow, who was closely followed by Capt. Kennard’s Avian, and a yellow Moth entered by the London Aero Club. As the wind was blowing across the aerodrome, the machines made a right-hand turn after taking off, and then set off at full speed on their courses for Newcastle.
Other machines took off, one by one, Mr. Berry’s grey and red Moth ; the Hon. Richard Westenra’s black and white Moth ; the Blackburn trainer piloted by Mr.
N. W. G. Blackburn himself ; and a Spartan, in the capable hands of Mr. S. A. Thorn, the popular BlindFlying instructor at Brooklands.
Then the C.24 Autogiro, the hump-backed saloon model, swung its way up, piloted by Mr. Brie. Then there was a longish gap, until the four Comper Swifts took off in quick succession. The first to leave was the machine piloted by Miss Fidelia Crossley Crossley, the only woman competitor in the race. There is something essentially racy about the appearance of these remarkable little machines in the air, and they formed a fine spectacle as they roared busily away. Two Puss Moths followed, belonging to Mr. Runciman and Mr. Walker. Then the Arrow Active left, piloted by Flying Officer
wards, quickly followed by the twin engined Segrave Meteor, entered by the Duke of Gloucester and flown by Flight Lieutenant Armour. Last of all the two Gipsy engined Comper Swifts were left in the aerodrome. That piloted by Flight Lieut. Styran took off, leaving a solitary little red, white and blue machine,
on scratch, entered by the Prince of Wales, and piloted by Flight Lieutenant Pielden. It will be remembered that this machine finished second in the recent King’s Cup Air Race at an average speed of 155 m.p.h. Then that took off and soon disappeared from sight in pursuit of the field.
The weather remained clear all day,. making navigation easy, but a strong wind sprang up as competitors neared Newcastle.
The handicapping was good, for the first four machines arrived practically together, victory actually going to the Hon. Richard Westenra (Moth, Gipsy II), followed by Mr. Runciman (Puss Moth, Gipsy III), Capt. T. C. Maxwell (Comper Swift, Pobjoy), and Mr. Thorn (Spartan II, Hermes lib).
As in the King’s Cup Race, Mr. Styran failed to cross the line, and the common occurrence of the failure of many experienced pilots to do so when flying low and fast, seems to suggest that a revision of the popular idea of the limits of the finishing line of a race would not be amiss.
THE MAIDSTONE FLYING SCHOOL AND AERO CLUB. We are informed that the new Flying School and Aero Club at West Mailing aerodrome, near Maidstone, is making good headway. A licence for public use has been granted, and the Flying Club has begun its activities with several pupils under its scheme of training
a pupil up to ‘ A ‘ licence standard for the sum of £30, under the instruction of Mr. E. F. Butstrode.