Text & Pictures: Serge Van Heertum - Translation: Marc Arys  © sbap 2016
 

The last airshow of the 2016 season was held on October 02 based on the theme: "Race Day".
A daring program when you know that mankind was always fond of races, performances and records be it on race circuits or in the air. Aviation was also drawn in this sports whirlpool and as we will see the hit did not take very long after the "heavier than air" took to the skies for the first time.
Great Britain entered the game very rapidly and prestigious "races" were organized. But let us at first go back to the show at Shutteworth which attracted some thousands of spectators. As with the previous shows organized by this oh so active team, the mood at the airfield was magical again thanks to the exhibited materials, airplanes, cars, racing cars from the looney years and of course British citizens dressed in genuine clothing between all these outstanding machines from another era.
The morning was mainly dedicated to the racing cars, allowing the visitors to watch them up close, see them parade and finally watch them race against the clock on the Old Warden runway. What a joy for all the amateurs of four wheeled ancestors!
Let us now get on to the airshow which presented us various aircraft having flown during those renowned "races". The better known at this moment is the one of which the managers of this invaluable collection can be proud of, the De Havilland DH.88 "Comet", the same which won the London-Melbourne race in 1934, also known as the "MacRobertson Air Race".

 There was also a Hawker Hurricane, a purely military aircraft... Of course, the Hurricane is well known for his exploits during the Second World War, but after the conflict several Hurricanes went on the civil circuit and did participate in various air races.
The most known is certainly G-AMAU, which is no other than PZ865 which still flies within the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. After the war, this aircraft was baptized "The Last of the Many" and transferred to Hawker to be modified. It participated in the "King's Cup Air Race" in 1950 and ended up second flown by Group Captain Peter Townsend.
A second fighter aircraft was also present, the North American P-51D "Mustang" and had two reasons to be on the show. The first is that quite a number of Mustangs still fly in air races, like the renowned Reno air races. But the main reason to be present for this aircraft owned by Peter Teichman is that it was painted in the colours of the 99th Squadron, better known as the "Red Tails", mainly made up of Afro-American pilots about which much had been written.
And more of, the show of Shuttleworth was honoured by the presence of Lt. Col. George Hardy, a former pilot of the "Tuskegee Airmen" squadron. This was all it took to reunite the pilot and his plane. Indeed the Mustang of Peter Teichman is the same flown by George Hardy during the Second World War when he was based in Italy. So we lived an historical and emotional session at Shuttleworth.
But enough words, time to live be part of show through the images provided with an historical overview on Lt. Col. George Hardy and an historical summary of the "Air Races".
SBAP wishes to thank heartily the whole team of the Shuttleworth Collection for their work and particularly Mrs Ciara Harper for the accreditation and facilities granted during our stay. We had the chance to vibrate throughout these historical pages and we hope our readers will feel the same when browsing through them to conclude a fantastic season offered to all of us by the Shuttleworth Collection.

 
The good old time...at Shuttleworth  The Polka Dot Dolls
 Swing of the 1940's A lady from the past
 
Race Cars
 

 Bentley beauty Riley "Red Wings" 1924 and the amazing radiator gauge
 Old racer dashboard Curtiss 8.2 litre Aero Engine
 Lorraine Dietrich "Vieux Charles III" 1912 Delage 1907
 Mors Grand Prix GP 1907 and her Curtiss 8.2 litre Aero Engine Daimler Mercedes Rennwagen GP 1913
 Dodge Brothers Canada 1925 Riley 12/4 Special 1936
 Bentley 3-Litre  1926 Riley MPH Recreation 1935
 Alpha Romeo 8C-2600  1932 Vauxhall 30-98 Velox 1923
 MG (Morris) PA type 1934 The Mors 1907 in action
 

Lt. Col. George Hardy

Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. George E. Hardy, one of the famous Tuskegee Airmen, appeared in Winter Haven, Fla., on Saturday, November 6, 2010. Fantasy of Flight and the Polk County Library Cooperative sponsored an inspirational event at the Winter Haven Public Library/Catherine L. Smith Memorial Library. George shared his story and responded to questions. Among the related activities was the continuous showing of the award-winning documentary Silver Wings and Civil Rights.
Mr. Hardy recalled that his initial interest in airplanes was a result of viewing newsreel footage of daring young men and their flying machines over Europe during the early phase of World War II. The Philadelphian joined the Army Air Corps at age 18 in July 1943. In December of that year he began training as an Aviation Cadet at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama.
As a student George mastered the Fairchild PT-19 Cornell, Vultee BT-13 Valiant, North American AT-6 Texan and Curtiss P-40 Warhawk. He graduated as a single-engine pilot and pinned on second lieutenant bars in September 1944. George received his combat training, in Republic P-47 Thunderbolts, at Walterboro Army Air Field, South Carolina.
In February 1945, Hardy shipped out to join the 99th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group which based at Ramitelli Air Base, Italy. During the closing months of World War II, George flew 21 escort and strafing missions in various North American P-51C and P-51D Mustangs.
Eventually Mr.Hardy inherited a personal aircraft from the squadron's operations officer. The fighter's nickname was "Tall in the Saddle," the letters having been painted beneath the Packard Merlin's exhaust stacks. Affixed just abaft was a blue-clad "Varga Girl" pinup image. The swift and sturdy mount carried him safely through the conflict, although once small arms fire holed the fuselage near his feet causing George some consternation.
In August 1945, George received orders returning him to Tuskegee and eventually sending him to Lockbourne Army Air Field, Ohio, to again fly P-47 Thunderbolts. In November 1946, Hardy separated from the service and attended the New York University School of Engineering until May 1948. Upon recall in June 1948 he returned to active duty with the 301st Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio. In September, George went to Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, to attend the Airborne Electronics Maintenance Officer's Course. He graduated from the course in August 1949.
Complying with official directives, George joined the 28th Bombardment Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group, as a maintenance officer in September 1949. The Guam-based unit was using the Boeing B-29 Superfortess. When the Korean War started in June 1950, the 19th bomb group moved to Okinawa and started flying combat missions over Korea. At this time, one of George's duties was being a copilot. The crew flew six combat missions over Korea.
On July 12, 1950, racial discrimination again became an obstacle when a new squadron commander refused to permit George to accompany his crewmates on a mission after their preflight briefing. A substitute replaced him before takeoff. Later that day a North Korean Yak fighter attacked the B-29, setting an engine on fire which forced the airmen to abandon the crippled plane.
One of George's duties as second-in-command was to coordinate the aerial gunners' defense of the aircraft. Unfortunately, he was back on Okinawa while his mates were fighting and subsequently drifting earthward under their parachute canopies. North Korean soldiers captured two of them. That aircraft was the first B-29 lost over Korea due to enemy action. Hardy nevertheless persevered to complete a total of 45 combat flights.
George went to the 6th Bombardment Wing at Walker Air Force Base, New Mexico, as directed in March 1950. That June he went to Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado, to train on Consolidated B-36 Peacemaker armament systems. This intercontinental bomber was the largest aircraft procured and maintained by the U.S.
In December 1952, the service sent him to Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, where he encountered more racism involving On-Base Family Housing. The problem ended with his transfer, in March 1953, to Loring Air Force Base in northern Maine. The change was welcome. At Loring he was a B-36 maintenance officer in the 42nd Bomb Wing.
During 1951-1962, Hardy served in various Armament and Electronics Maintenance Squadrons in the Strategic Air Command and also in Japan as Maintenance Officer and a Squadron Commander. In August 1957, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of technology at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
George soon became a maintenance supervisor in the 3rd Bomb Wing, which was operating Martin B-57 Canberra aircraft at Johnson Air Base in Japan. This was in September 1957. In 1959, George received his aeronautical Command Pilot rating. In November 1960, he became a maintenance squadron commander in the 4108th Air Refueling Wing, which was utilizing Boeing KC-97 Stratotankers, at Plattsburg Air Force Base, New York.
In January 1963 George again attended the Air Force Institute of Technology where in August 1964 he received a Master of Science Degree in Systems Engineering-Reliability. That September Hardy went to the Electronic Systems Division of AF Systems Command at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.
In August 1966, he became Program Manager and Chief of Engineering for the overseas portion of the Department of Defense's first worldwide direct dial telephone system. The first sites were successfully "cutover" in Europe and Panama in June 1969, and the remaining major portions of the network attained the same status during the latter part of 1969.
With his military career now in the latter stages, George returned to the cockpit in late 1969. He became the aircraft commander of a Fairchild AC-119K Stinger gunship. In April 1970 and after additional training, the personnel center then attached him to the 18th Special Operations Squadron in the Republic of Vietnam. Additionally, superiors made him the squadron's Operating Location Commander at the Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand.
The following September, Hardy became the squadron's Operating Location Commander at Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. The pilots' primary task was to search out and attack enemy supply traffic through northern Laos and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail at night. George flew 70 such sorties. He departed the country in April 1971, being reassigned to the Air Force Systems Command at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.
Hardy began retirement in November 1971. His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, the Air Medal with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster. George received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Service from Tuskegee University in 2006. He now resides in Sarasota, Fla. (Based on John Stemple interview 2010)

 
 As second Lieutenant end 1944 Lt. Col. George Hardy today
 The "Mustang" he flew in Italy Peter Teichman and George Hardy for posterity
 George markings on the "Mustang" The 99th Squadron codes
 Peter Teichman preparing for this unique display
 Take off like it was in 1945
 
 
 
 
 
 Red tails in Old Warden skies, the North American P-51D "Mustang" (44-72035)
Mission accomplished Yes Peter...Good show!
 
The Race Day Airshow
 
Control is ready, Peter Holloway is looking the terrain...show can go on 
 
 

Air Races History

The first heavier-than-air air race was held on May 23, 1909 the "Prix de Lagatinerie", at the Port-Aviation airport south of Paris, France. Four pilots entered the race, two started and nobody completed the full race distance though this was not unexpected as the rules specified that whoever travelled furthest would be the winner if no-one completed the race. Léon Delagrange who covered slightly more than half of the ten 1.2-kilometre laps was declared the winner.
Some other minor events were held before the "Grande Semaine d'Aviation de Champagne" between August 22 and 29, 1909 at Reims, France. This was the first major international flying event, drawing the most important aircraft makers and pilots of the era, as well as celebrities and royalty. The premier event (the first Gordon Bennett Trophy competition) was won by Glenn Curtiss, who beat second-place finisher Louis Blériot by five seconds. Curtiss was named "Champion Air Racer of the World".
The first air race in the United States was held at Dominguez Field, just south of Los Angeles, from January 10 to 20, 1910, organized by pilots A. Roy Knabenshue and Charles Willard. Funding was raised from railroad magnate Henry Huntington and the Los Angeles Merchants and Manufacturers Association. William Randolph Hearst carried coverage of the event in his Los Angeles Examiner, and hired a hot air balloon with a promotional parse touting his newspaper. The event attracted 43 participants, of which 16 appeared. It was there that aviation pioneer and military pilot Jimmy Doolittle, then thirteen, saw his first airplane.

In the years before the First World War popular interest in aviation led to a large number of air races in Europe, including the 1911 "Circuit of Europe race", the "Daily Mail Circuit of Britain Air Race" and the "Aerial Derby".

In 1913 the first "Schneider Trophy" seaplane race was held. When the competition was resumed after the war it was significant in advancing airplane design, particularly in the fields of aerodynamics and engine design, and would show its results in the best fighters of World War II.
On October 19, 1919, the "Army Transcontinental Air Race" began along a 2700 miles route from Long Island, New York to San Francisco, California and back which would see widespread carnage including 7 fatalities (2 en route to the race). Of the 48 aircraft that started, 33 would complete the double crossing of the continent.
In 1921, the United States instituted the National Air Meets, which became the "National Air Race" in 1924.
The "King's Cup Race" is an annual British handicapped cross-country air race, is run by the Royal Aero Club Records Racing and Rally Association and was first contested on 8 September 1922. The event was open to British pilots only, but that did include members of the Commonwealth. The event was established by King George V as an incentive to the development of light aircraft and engine design. The first race was an 810 miles contest from Croydon Airfield, south of London, to Glasgow, Scotland and back again after an overnight stop. The winner of the first race was Frank L. Barnard, chief pilot of the Instone Air Line, in a passenger-carrying Airco DH.4A. There were no races during World War II (1939-45), and the contest did not resume until 1949. The race was abandoned in 1951, due to bad weather. In 1953 a crowd of 10.000 watching the "King's Cup Air Race" meeting at Southend-on-Sea Essex, saw a mid-air collision in which John Crowther, a hotelier from the Marine Hotel, Tankerton, Kent, was killed. Along with the "Schneider Trophy", and the "British Air Racing Championship", it is one of the most sought after prizes of an air racing season.

In 1929, the Women's "Air Derby", nicknamed the "Powder Puff Derby", became a part of the National Air Races circuit. The National Air Races lasted until 1949. The Cleveland Air Races was another important event. In 1947, an All-Woman Transcontinental Air Race, also dubbed the "Powder Puff Derby" was established, running until 1977.

In 1934, the "MacRobertson Air Race" from England to Australia took place with the winning de Havilland Comet flown by C. W. A. Scott and Tom Campbell Black.
The "MacRobertson Trophy Air Race" (also known as the London to Melbourne Air Race) took place October, 1934 as part of the Melbourne Centenary celebrations. The idea of the race was devised by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, and a prize fund of $75,000 (Australia used £ at that time) was put up by Sir Macpherson Robertson, a wealthy Australian confectionery manufacturer, on the conditions that the race be named after his MacRobertson confectionery company, and that it be organized to be as safe as possible.
The race was organized by the Royal Aero Club, and would run from RAF Mildenhall in East Anglia to Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, approximately 11,300 miles (18,200 km). There were five compulsory stops at Baghdad, Allahabad, Singapore, Darwin and Charleville, Queensland; otherwise the competitors could choose their own routes. A further 22 optional stops were provided with stocks of fuel and oil by Shell and Stanavo. The Royal Aero Club put some effort into persuading the countries along the route to improve the facilities at the stopping points.
The basic rules were: no limit to the size of aircraft or power, no limit to crew size, no pilot to join aircraft after it left England. Aircraft must carry three days' rations per crew member, floats, smoke signals and efficient instruments. There were prizes for the outright fastest aircraft, and for the best performance on a handicap formula by any aircraft finishing within 16 days.
Take off date was set at dawn (6:30), 20 October 1934. By then, the initial field of over 60 had been whittled down to 20, including three purpose-built de Havilland DH.88 Comet racers, two of the new generation of American all-metal passenger transports, and a mixture of earlier racers, light transports and old bombers.
First off the line, watched by a crowd of 60,000, were Jim and Amy Mollison in the Comet Black Magic, and they were early leaders in the race until forced to retire at Allahabad with engine trouble. This left the scarlet Comet "Grosvenor House", flown by Flight Lt. C. W. A. Scott and Captain Tom Campbell Black, well ahead of the field. This racer went on to win in a time of less than 3 days, despite flying the last stage with one engine throttled back because of an oil-pressure indicator giving a faulty low reading. It would have won the handicap prize as well, were it not for a race rule that no aircraft could win more than one prize.
Perhaps more significantly in the development of popular long-distance air travel, the second and third places were taken by airline transports flying regular routes with passengers, with the KLM Douglas DC-2 PH-AJU "Uiver" (Stork) gaining a narrow advantage over Roscoe Turner's Boeing 247-D, both completing the course less than a day behind the winner. Both were equipped with full variable-pitch propellers and had just completed test and development phases, and the DC-2 was flown without significant modification.
The most dramatic part of the race was when the "Uiver", hopelessly lost after becoming caught in a thunderstorm, ended up over Albury, New South Wales. The townsfolk responded magnificently - Lyle Ferris, the chief electrical engineer of the post office, went to the power station and signaled "Albury" to the plane by turning the town lights on and off, and Arthur Newnham, the announcer on radio station 2CO Corowa, appealed for cars to line up on the racecourse to light up a runway for the plane. The plane landed, and next morning was pulled out of the mud by locals to fly on and win the handicap section of the race. In gratitude KLM made a large donation to Albury Hospital and Alf Waugh, the Mayor of Albury, was awarded a title in Dutch nobility. Later that year (1934), the DC-2 crashed near Rutbah Wells (now known as Ar Rutba, Iraq), killing all on board, and is now commemorated by a flying replica.

"Reno Air Race". In 1964, Bill Stead, a Nevada rancher, pilot, and unlimited hydroplane racing champion, organized the first Reno Air Races at a small dirt strip called the Sky Ranch, located between Sparks, Nevada, and Pyramid Lake. The National Championship Air Races were soon moved to the Reno Stead Airport and have been held there every September since 1966. The five-day event attracts around 200,000 people, and includes racing around courses marked out by pylons for six classes of aircraft: Unlimited, Formula One, Sport Biplane, AT-6, Sport and Jet. It also features civil airshow acts, military flight demonstrations, and a large static aircraft display. In 1970, American Formula One racing was exported to Europe (Great Britain, and then to France), where almost as many races have been held as in the U.S.A. Also in 1970, the "California 1000 Air Race" started at the Mojave Airport with a 66 lap unlimited air race that featured a Douglas DC-7 with one aircraft completing the circuit.
Red Bull has created a series called the "Red Bull Air Race" World Championship in which competitors fly individually between pairs of pylons, while performing prescribed maneuvers. Usually held over water near large cities, the sport has attracted large crowds and renewed media interest in air racing.
Aero GP has multiple aircraft racing together pik around pylons, and is based in Europe where it has held an air race each year since 2005.
Powered paragliding or paramotor races have been organized with the first occurring on 4 September 2010 in an airfield in Montauban, Southern France. These are parasails powered by small two-stroke engines and allow a much smaller race where the audience can see the pilots as they carry out their maneuvers.

 
 Race 01
the gliders: Slingsby T.6 Kirby Kite (1937) & Slingsby T.13 Petrel (1938)
 Slingsby T.6 Kirby Kite Slingsby T.6 Kirby Kite production serie fuselage
 Slingsby T.13 Petrel
Race 02
Mustang Aeronautics Midget MM-1 (1948), Taylor JT-2 Titch (1967) & LeVier Cosmic Wind (1947)
 Taylor JT-2 Titch LeVier Cosmic Wind
 
 Race 03
De Havilland DH.88 "Comet" (1934) & Percival Mew Gull (1934)
 
 
 Race 04
De Havilland DH-60 Moth (1925), Hawker Tomtit (1928), Comper C.L.A.7 Swift (1930), 
Parnall Elf II (1934), De Havilland DH-83 Fox Moth (1938) & Miles M38 Messenger 2A (1947)
 
 
 Hawker Tomtit Parnall Elf II
 Comper C.L.A.7 Swift Miles M38 Messenger 2A
 De Havilland DH-83 Fox Moth De Havilland DH-60 Moth
 Race 05
Chilton DW1A (1937)
 
 
 
 
 Intermezzo
Caldus Gyrocopter by Peter Davies
 
 
 
Race 06
Hawker Hurricane (1940), Spartan 7W Executive (1936), Taylor JT-2 Titch (1967), 
LeVier Cosmic Wind (1947) & Percival Mew Gull (1934)
 
 Spartan 7W Executive Hawker Hurricane Mk I
 Taylor JT-2 Titch
 LeVier Cosmic Wind & Percival Mew Gull
 
 Race 07
Geoffrey De Havilland:  De Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth (1930),
De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth (1932), 
De Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth (1934) & De Havilland DH-83 Fox Moth (1938), 
 
 
 
 De Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth
 De Havilland DH-83 Fox Moth  De Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth
 Intermezzo
Xtra 300SC by
Mark Jefferies
 
 
 
 
 
 The Great War period
Royal Aircraft Factory SE5A (1917) & Sopwith Dove (1919)
 
 Royal Aircraft Factory SE5A Sopwith Dove
 
 
 
 
Race 08
 MacRobertson Air Race (London-Melbourne) tribute
Desoutter Mk I  (1930),
De Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth (1930), De Havilland DH.88 "Comet" (1934), 
Miles M-3A Falcon Major (1936), Miles M14A Hawk Trainer 3 (1941) & De Havilland DH-89A Dominie (1945)
 
 
 Desoutter Mk I Miles M-3A Falcon Major
 Miles M14A Hawk Trainer 3 De Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth
 De Havilland DH.88 "Comet" De Havilland DH-89A Dominie
 
 
 
 The last flight of the day was performed by the Avro 504K, sadly we were already on the way back...
 
Some other interesting visitor aircraft
 
 Miles M38 Messenger 2A (1947) Aviat Husky-A-1C (1980's)
Cessna F150G (1967) Vans RV-6 (1998)
 Bücker Bü 131 Jungman (CASA 1--131E) (1938) Scintex CP-1310-C3 Super Emeraude (1962)
 Shield G Shield Xyla (1968) Piper PA-18-150 (1960)
 Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee (1987) Yakovlev Yak-52 (1979)
 Vans RV-8 (2006) Beagle B-121 Pup Series 2 (1969)

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