Schneider Trophy

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The Coupe d'Aviation Maritime Jacques Schneider (commonly called the Schneider Trophy, or prize or cup) was a prize competition for seaplanes. Announced by Jacques Schneider, a financier, balloonist and aircraft enthusiast, in 1911, it offered a prize of roughly £1,000. The race was held eleven times between 1913 and 1931. It was meant to encourage technical advances in civil aviation but became a contest for pure speed with laps over a triangular course (initially 280 km, later 350 km). The races were very popular and some attracted crowds of over 200,000 spectators. Since 1977 the trophy has been on display at the Science Museum in London.

If an aero club won three races in five years, they would retain the cup and the winning pilot would receive 75,000 francs. Each race was hosted by the previous winning country. The races were supervised by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale and the Aero Club in the hosting country. Each club could enter up to three competitors with an equal number of alternates.

Contents

History

The trophy was first competed for on 16 April 1913, at Monaco and won by a French Deperdussin at an average speed of 45.72 mph (73.57 km/h).[1] The British won in 1914 with a Sopwith Tabloid at 86.78 mph (139.9 km/h).[1] The competition resumed in 1919 at Bournemouth where in foggy conditions the Italian team won. They were later disqualified and the race was voided.[2]

In 1920 and 1921 at Venice the Italians won — in 1920 no other nation entered and in 1921 the only non-Italian entry did not start.[2] After 1921, an additional requirement was added: the winning seaplane had to remain moored to a buoy for six hours without human intervention.

In 1922 in Naples the British and French competed with the Italians and the British private entry, the Supermarine Sea Lion II, won.[3]

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