Schneider Trophy contest programme, 12 September, 1931.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Front cover of the programme. The Schneider Trophy race was one of the earliest contests for pilots. Starting with the first event in Monaco in 1913, the race, sponsored by Jacques Schneider, was intended to encourage seaplane development. The event was always keenly fought and led to many pioneering innovations in aircraft design and engine power. Twelve contests were held between 1913 and 1931 in England, Italy, France and the United States. The 1931 event took place at Calshot, near Southampton and was won by a Supermarine S6B seaplane piloted by Lieutenant John Boothman. This was the third consecutive British win, meaning they retained the trophy permanently.