Why this website?


The original beginning of this project was sometime around 2007. When the hundredth anniversary of air racing was approaching, planning was started for a series of articles about the first races for "Bent Throttles", the newsletter of the Racing & Record Aircraft Special Interest Group of the International Plastic Modellers' Society (www.ipmsairrace.org). We soon found out that very little had been written in English about this interesting era, and that much of what was written was incomplete and inaccurate.

One thing lead to the other, and after a couple of years of information collecting the project had grown far beyond the modelling context. There's lots of information around. Old magazines and newspapers, which often covered the events in detail, are increasingly being made available online. Through a lucky coincidence this first "Golden Age of Aviation" coincided with the golden age of the photo postcard. These old postcards are a little-known gold mine of relatively cheap photos from those first aviation meetings of more than 100 years ago.

This website is an effort to share the results of this research with a broader audience. We hope you enjoy it!

A project of this kind is never finished. There will always be something that could be corrected or improved, or a better photo that could be added. We welcome your contributions!

The focus of the site is the "The meetings" pages. Most of them have five tabs:

  • "The events" gives a timeline of the meeting and its competitive events.
  • "The airfield / The venue" describes the airfield and its installations. If its exact location is known, it is indicated on an embedded Google Map.
  • "The planes" gives a photo of each entered plane and sometimes some short additional information. The photos are as far as possible chosen to show the whole plane and its race number or other characterizing features. This means that sometimes a "bad" photo has been chosen instead of a better one that doesn't show the entire plane.
  • "The results" lists, as far as known, the complete results of the competitive events of a meeting. Non-competitive events are normally not listed.
  • "References" gives links to relevant websites, books and magazines. It's not a complete list of everythingthat was consulted while compiling the information. The selection is restricted to the most useful and readily available sources - see below for a list of "standard" sources. It also gives the sources of photos and other illustrations, when known.
The "The pilots" pages are not primarily intended to give full biographies, but rather to give short summaries. They are often somewhat incomplete when launched, but will grow as new meetings are added. If you know more about the pilots mentioned, your input is very welcome!

Times, distances and speeds

In general, the metric system uses is for distances and speeds.
Times of the day are given in 24-hour format, for example 17:15 is a quarter past five in the afternoon.
Time was in those days measured to a precision of a fifth of a second. This has been converted to decimals.
Elapsed times are given with a colon between minutes and seconds. Seconds can have decimals, for example 1 h 23:45.6.

Sources

We don't want to weigh this site down with footnotes and detailed references. The main source material is articles and reports in contemporary newspapers and in flying and sports magazines, for example the following:

  • "Flight"
  • "The Aero"
  • "L'Aérophile"
  • "La Revue Aérienne"
  • "La Revue de l'Aviation",
  • "L'Aviation Illustrée"
  • "L'Auto"
  • "La Vie au Grand Air"
  • "Flugsport",
  • "Illustrierte Aeronautische Mitteilungen"
  • "Deutsche Zeitschrift für Luftschiffahrt"
  • "Luftschiffahrt, Flugtechnik und -sport"
  • "Zeitschrift für Flugtechnik und Motorluftschiffahrt"
  • "La Stampa Sportiva"
  • "Wiener Luftschiffer-Zeitung"
  • "Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung"
  • "Aviación"
  • "Aeronautics"
  • "Aircraft"
These magazines are normally not mentioned in the "References" pages. Wikipedia and other generally available internet sources are also not mentioned. If you are interested in the exact sources please contact us.

Copyright
The photographs and maps used on this site were created more than a hundred years ago, and most often anonymously. We believe that they are all in the public domain.
The information published on this site is free to use, but we appreciate if credit is given.
The exact texts and the layout of the site are of course protected by copyright.

Technical information
Many pages of this website contain lots of images. They will load slowly if you don't have a fast internet connection, but we hope they will be worth the wait.
This website is developed according to HTML 4.01 and CSS 3 standards. If you don't think it looks right it might be because you run an ancient web browser that doesn't support these standards.

Please enjoy!
Anders Bruun
(site owner)