Gordon Bennett Trophy (aeroplanes)

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The Gordon Bennett Aviation Trophy, sometimes referred to as the Gordon Bennett Cup was an international airplane racing trophy awarded by James Gordon Bennett, Jr., the owner of the New York Herald newspaper. Bennett was also the sponsor of an automobile race and a ballooning competition.

It was first held in August 1909 as part of Grande Semaine d'Aviation held at Reims in France, and consisted of 2 laps of the 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) circuit. The competition was not held as a race, with competitors starting at the same time, but was rather a series of time trals. Those held before the First World War were over short courses marked by pylons: because of the growing speed of aircraft, the final race, held in 1920, was held between two points 50 km (31 mi) apart.

The terms of the trophy competition were the same as those of the Schneider Trophy: each race was hosted by the nation which had won the preceding race, and the trophy would be won outright by the nation whose team won the race three times in succession. Accordingly, after Lecoint's victory in 1920 the Trophy became the permanent possession of the Aero Club de France.

A Bleriot XI similar to participants in the 1910 race


Competition winners

LocationWinning pilotAircraft typeDistanceTimeSpeed
1909Reims, FranceGlenn Curtiss[1]Curtiss No. 220 km (12 mi)15 min 50.6 s75.27 km/h (46.77 mph)
1910Belmont Park, New YorkClaude Grahame-WhiteBlériot XI100 km (62 mi)1 h 1 min 4.74 s[2]98.23 km/h (61.04 mph)
1911Eastchurch, EnglandCharles Weymann[3]Nieuport II150 km (93 mi)1 h 11 min 36.2 s125.69 km/h (78.10 mph)
1912Clearing, Illinois, USJules VédrinesDeperdussin Monocoque200 km (120 mi)1 h 10 min 56 s[4]169.37 km/h (105.24 mph)
1913Reims, FranceMaurice Prevost[5]Deperdussin Monocoque200 km (120 mi)59min 45.6 s200.8 km/h (124.8 mph)
1920Orléans/Étampes[6]Joseph Sadi-Lecointe .[7]Nieuport 29300 km (190 mi)1 h 6 min 17.2 s271.55 km/h (168.73 mph)

The 1914 race was to have been held at Reims between 19 September and 28 September,[8] but was cancelled due to the outbreak of the First World War. There was no contest in 1919 [9]

1909 competition

NationalityPilotAircraft TypePositionTimeSpeedNotes
FranceLouis BlériotBlériot XIISecond15 min 56 s75.31 km/h (46.80 mph)
FranceHubert LathamAntoinette VIIThird17 min 32 s68.44 km/h (42.53 mph)
FranceEugène LefebvreWright Model AFourth20 min 47.6 s57.71 km/h (35.86 mph)
United KingdomGeorge Bertram CockburnFarman IIIDid not finish course.
United StatesGlenn CurtissCurtiss No. 2First15 min 50.4 s75.74 km/h (47.06 mph)

1910 competition

NationalityPilotAircraft TypePositionTimeSpeedNotes
FranceAlfred LeblancBlériot XICrashed on last lap
FranceHubert LathamAntoinette5 h 48 min 53 s
United KingdomClaude Grahame-WhiteBlériot XIFirst1 h 1 min 4.74 s98.23 km/h (61.04 mph)
United KingdomAlexander OgilvieWright Model RThird2 h 6 min 36 s,Time includes 54 minutes stop due to a spark plug blowing out.
United StatesWalter BrookinsWright "Baby Grand"Crashed during practise before race.[10]
United StatesJohn DrexelRetired after seven laps.
United StatesJohn MoisantBlériot XIThird1 h 57 min 44.85 s

1911 competition

NationalityPilotAircraft TypePositionTimeSpeedNotes
FranceAlfred LeblancBlériot XXIIISecond73 min 40.2 s122.17 km/h (75.91 mph)
FranceEdouard NieuportNieuport IIThird74 37.2120.61 km/h (74.94 mph)
United KingdomGustav HamelBleriot XXIIICrashed during race
United KingdomAlexander OgilvieWright BabyFourth109 min 10.4 s82.44 km/h (51.23 mph)
United StatesC.T. WeymannNieuport IIFirst71min 3.2 s126.67 km/h (78.71 mph)

1912 competition

NationalityPilotAircraft TypePositionTimeSpeedNotes
FranceJules VédrinesDeperdussin MonocoqueFirst70 min 56 s170 km/h (110 mph)
FranceMarcel PrévostDeperdussin MonocoqueSecond72 min 55120.61 km/h (74.94 mph)
FranceAndré FreyHanriotRetired due to engine overheating after completing 22 laps at an average speed of 150 km/h (93 mph)[11]

1913 competition

NationalityPilotAircraft TypePositionTimeSpeedNotes
FranceMarcel PrévostDeperdussin MonocoqueFirst59 min 45.6 s200.4 km/h (124.5 mph)
FranceEmile VédrinesPonnierSecond60 min 51.4 s198 km/h (123 mph)
FranceEugène GilbertDeperdussin MonocoqueThird62 min 55 s192.3 km/h (119.5 mph)
BelgiumHenri CrombezDeperdussin MonocoqueFourth69 min 52 s172.0 km/h (106.9 mph)

1920 competition

NationalityPilotAircraft TypePositionTimeSpeedNotes
FranceJoseph Sadi-LecointeNieuport-Delage NiD 29First1 hr 6 min 17.2 s266.3 km/h (165.5 mph)
FranceBernard de RoumanetSPAD S.20Second1 hr 39 min 6.9 s182.7 km/h (113.5 mph)Finished course after making a stop due to engine trouble: his flying time over the course was 266.3 km/h (165.5 mph)
United KingdomF. P. RaynhamMartinsyde SemiquaverRetired due to oil pump failure.
U.S.A.Howard RinehartDayton-Wright RacerRetired due to broken elevator control cable
U.S.A.SchroederVerville-Packard R-1Did not finish due to engine overheating