At the end of 1912, Jacques Schneider announced his intention to present an annual trophy for an international seaplane contest. There were only twelve Schneider contests, but these were major international events, which came to rival others in Britain, Italy, France, and the US. Biplane seaplanes and flying boats predominated the early contests and some very advanced twin-float biplanes were among the winners as late as 1925. Of all contenders, it was the monoplane which was to become the symbol of the Schneider Trophy, when its Supermarine and Macchi designs reached the apex of seaplane -racing performance.
The final, winning combination of a Supermarine airframe and Rolls-Royce engine made a vital contribution to Britain’s defence in 1940, in the form of the Rolls-Royce powered Hurricane and Spitfire. This book gives a detailed account of the contests; the design, development, and achievements of both aircraft which took part and which failed to; and the advanced ‒ and sometimes unrealistic ‒ ideas behind the projects themselves.
An engineering apprenticeship at the Gloster Aircraft Company initiated Derek James' lifetime career in aviation. He went on to join the ATC, Royal Observer Corps, Royal Navy, RAF, SBAC, and Dowty Group, and is the author of nineteen aviation books. He has participated in many television and radio programmes, and was the voice of many air shows throughout the country in the 1980s and ‘90s.
Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Extent: 368 pages
Illustrations: 310 black-and-white photographs