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1

De Havilland D.H.88 Comet Racer

The D.H.88 Comet was a long-range racing aircraft designed specifically to win the 1934 MacRobertson race for Britain.This was the longest air race ever staged, requiring aircraft to fly 111,300 miles from Mildenhall, England, to Melbourne, Australia. De Havilland built three Comets for the race; the first made its initial test flight only six weeks before the event. The aircraft […]

2

De Havilland Comet

The D.H.106 Comet was the world’s first jet airliner,offering for a brief and glorioui moment – the fastest, most stylish passenger travel on the planet. Designed to appeal to a select clientele, it carried just passengers. The first jet passenger services, from London to Johannesburg and Colombo, were inaugurated by Comet 1s of BOAC in 1952. The heavier and longer-range Comet 1A followed, […]

3

Curtiss Reims Racer

In August 1909 most of the adventurous pioneers then flying aeroplanes gathered at Reims in  France for the world’s first air show. The sole American present was Glenn Curtiss. His Reims Racer, the second aeroplane he had built  was a small,  light pusher biplane built for speed. Its pilot sat over the leading edge of the lower wing, using a wheellopped […]

4

Curtiss CR-3

Cheated for the 1923 Schneider Trophy contest, the Curtiss CR-3 proved itself the fastest seaplane racer of its day. In the early 1920s American Glenn Curtiss had developed sleek landplane racers, powered by his outstanding CD-12 in-line engine. The US Navy converted two of these beauties into floatplanes, which were entered as CR-3s for the Schneider race, held that year in England, […]

5

Deperdussin Seaplane Racer

Founded in 1910, French businessman Armand Deperdussin’s company was famed for its racing monoplanes, which were then the fastest aeroplanes in the world. The key to their success was the use of the monococque (“single shell”) method for buildingu light yet strong fuselage. Originally devised by Swedish engineer Ruchonnet, the technique was adopted by Deperdussin’s designer, Louis Béchereau, in 1911. Layers of  plywood […]

6

Sopwith Tabloid

First built in 1913 when all speed records were held by monoplanes, the Sopwith Aviation Company’s triumphant Tabloid racer proved that a biplane could be first as well as robust. Originally a two-seat landplane powered by an 80-hp Gnome engine, the Tabloid’s performance proved so promising that Tom Sopwith decided to enter it for the 1914 Schneider Trophy seaplane race. However, the necessary […]

7

De Havilland Mosquito

Originally designed as a high-speed unarmed light bomber, the de Havilland D.H.98 Mosquito proved one of the most versatile aeroplanes of World War II, serving in a wide variety of roles, and excelling at each and every one. The Mosquito was built almost entirely of plywood, sparing the use of metals that were then in short supply. From the maiden flight of its […]

8

AircoD.H.2

The D.H.2 was a compact, little fighting scout that served Britain’s Royal Flying Corps ( RFC) well in the fieree air battles over the Somme in 1916. Designed by Geoffrey de Havilland of the Aircraft Manufacturing Company (Airco). it was developed from the larger D.H.1. A pusher propeller was set behind the wings, leaving a free field of fire for the Lewis […]

9

Airco D.H.4

Designed by Geoffrey dc Havilland, the Airco D.H.4 is regarded as the best single-engine day bomber of World War I. It outpaced all but the fastest German fighters and defended itself effectively; the pilot operated a fixed forward-firing Vickers gun and there was a moveable Lewis gun on the observer’s gun ring. The one major design drawback was the distance between […]

10

Gee Bee Super Sportster

The ultimate 1930s American racing aircraft, the extraordinary Gee Bee R-1 and R-2 Super Sportsters were essentially engines with wings, offering a perilous but adrenaline-pumping ride to any pilot plucky enough to fly them. Created by the Granville Brothers (hence Gee Bee) of Springfield, Massachusetts, the racers had rotund fuselages and massive Pratt & Whitney Wasp air-cooled radial engines. The cockpit was set far […]