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The Schneider Trophy Seaplanes and Flying Boats: Victors, Vanquished and Visions [Hardcover]

Ralph Pegram
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: £35.00
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Book Description

24 Oct 2012
The Coupe d'Aviation Maritime Jacques Schneider (commonly called the Schneider Trophy, or prize or cup) was a prize competition for seaplanes. Announced by Jacques Schneider, a financier, balloonist and aircraft enthusiast, in 1911, it offered a prize of roughly GBP1,000. The race was held eleven times between 1913 and 1931. It was meant to encourage technical advances in civil aviation but became a contest for pure speed with laps over a triangular course (initially 280 km, later 350 km). The races were very popular and some attracted crowds of over 200,000 spectators. Since 1977 the trophy has been on display at the Science Museum in London. The race was very significant in advancing aeroplane design, particularly in the fields of aerodynamics and engine design, and would show its results in the best fighters of WW2. The streamlined shape and the low drag, liquid-cooled engine pioneered by Schneider Trophy designs are obvious in the British Supermarine Spitfire, the American P-51 Mustang, and the Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore. This book is a history of the 100+ different aircraft types designed to contest for the Schneider Trophy from its inception in 1912 through to the final post-script in 1934. The narrative covers the political dynamics of the contests, the rivalries and the partnerships that led to the development of these aircraft. Each aircraft and engine is described along with the story of their construction and testing. The core of the book is a set of detailed 1:72 scale 3-view drawings and photographs from the author's personal collection, most of which have not been published previously. The text and drawings draw upon the author's comprehensive library of drawings, photographs, blueprints, reports, books and magazines on the subject and contain much new information. The majority of these aircraft, including some of the better known types, have been served poorly in the past in terms of availability of drawings. The book will appeal both to readers with a casual interest in the Schneider Trophy and to those seeking a comprehensive source of information on the subject. It will be of particular use to aircraft modellers. At present there are no books in print on the subject of the Schneider Trophy, the most recent in English was published in 2000. The majority of the more recent books date from 1981, the 50th anniversary of the final contest.

Frequently Bought Together

The Schneider Trophy Seaplanes and Flying Boats: Victors, Vanquished and Visions + Speedbirds : Tome 1, Schneider Trophy 1913-1931 et autres avions de course d'avant-guerre
Price For Both: £37.35

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Fonthill Media (24 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781551790
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781551790
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 22.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

RALPH PEGRAM recently retired after 35 years working around the world in the oil exploration business for a major oil company. A geology graduate whose early plans to study aeronautical engineering were thwarted by failing to make the grade in mathematics. However, the author maintained a strong interest in aviation history with a particular slant towards the Schneider Trophy contests and aircraft which he has been researching for over 30 years.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
A Christmas present that proved a welcome diversion to the television! RP has written a book that is very readable and has drawn together just about every source of information on the historic Schneider Trophy races that began as a gentleman's competition and ended up a proxy battle between Britain and Italy.
The descriptions of each year's race is fascinating and the technical innovations, successful or otherwise, are chronicled in enough detail to whet the appetite of those interested in the technical twists but not in such length the non-technical reader will lose the thread of the 'story'.
Whilst I would dispute the details of some of the power plant development stories... that is because of my own aeronautical background and not because the author is necessarily wrong... many a bar room discussion arises from such challenges to the common mythology of such races!
RP's researches deserve being more widely known and hopefully will spark many a model... it has been 50 years since I last whittled on balsa but maybe the time has come to venture out in the New Year, I know where my nearest model shop is.... Macclesfield!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ralph pegram schneider trophy 23 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A thoroughly researched labour of love. The very best work on this important historical subject. Pegram is supreme ,including his own design drawings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The product of meticulous research 17 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As suggested by its title, this book concentrates on the Schneider Trophy aircraft rather than the personalities and the politics. Years of research have resulted in a depth of detail covering all the entrants which exceeds any other published work on the subject. In addition to the historical record the author has produced scale plans of the aircraft involved which give an interesting comparison of the dimensions of the aircraft.

I bought this to assist with my modelling projects and a museum project about Howard Pixton but, whilst it was helpful, from a modeller's viewpoint more photographs and details of the colour schemes of the aircraft would have been appreciated.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schneider Trophy 14 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you want to read about the technical detail of the planes and hear about the problems they faced, then read this book. There are lots of rare photos and nearly all the planes have scale line drawings. Well worth the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars schneider trophy seaplanes and flying boats 5 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover
Very comprehensive book only spoilt by the exclusion of any colour pictures.These aircraft were some of the most colourful ever,such a shame!
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