The 1909 Doncaster Town Moor airfield
A couple of the grandstands still remain today. (1)
The 1909 Doncaster air races were held on the
infield of the Doncaster Race Course, which is situated
some 2 km to the east of the centre of Doncaster. It was,
and still is, one of Britain's oldest and most
important horse race courses, for example home of the
famous "St Leger Stakes" race. On the site of
the air race course is now the Doncaster Town Moor Golf
The existing racecourse infrastructure was popular with
the crowds and compared favourably with the windy,
exposed fields used for most of the first air race
Different sources disagree about the exact layout and
length of the course. "The Engineer" states
that it was a seven-pylon course of 1 mile and 3 1/2
furlongs (1.4375 miles or 2.313 km).
"Flugsport" states that the course length was 1
mile 860 yards (1.489 miles or 2.395 km). The race
program shows a six-pylon course, and states that it is
"about 1 1/2 miles". Calculations using the
published time and speed of Delagrange's record lap
give a course length of 1.486 miles or 2.391 km, which is
within meters of Flugsport's figure.
During the meeting the FAI introduced a rule that course
lengths should be measured along the inner boundary, i.e.
pylon-to-pylon. At the Blackpool meeting this resulted in
new, shorter course lengths being published. The
introduction of the new rule might explain the
discrepancy between the different course length figures.
The course map from the race program - everything is
unfortunately not legible and a better scan would be
A view over the hangars, with Sommer's Farman in
the foreground. Cody's "monstrous"
biplane required the extra large hangar to the left.
Another view over the hangars, apparently on a day with
little flying. Cody's hangar is enormous! (3)
A panorama over the grandstands, with one of the
typical pylons in the foreground. (3)
Too see more details, open the map in Google Maps by
clicking the "full screen" symbol at the top
right of the menu bar!