Royal Aero Club - Blog

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Schneider Trophy 1923
90 years ago this month, the Royal Aero Club hosted the 7th annual contest for the Schneider Trophy. The previous year, Britain’s sole entry, the Supermarine Sea Lion II, had been an unexpected winner at the contest in Naples, and thereby deprived the Italians of the opportunity to take their third win and to hold the trophy in perpetuity. On the day of the 1923 contest, the British were able to field just a single aircraft, the Supermarine Sea Lion III; the 1922 winner cleaned up and fitted with new wings. The French and US teams fielded three aircraft each, but a series of accidents and mechanical failures reduced their contestants to one and two, respectively. The contest was an easy victory for the two US Curtiss CR-3 seaplanes, financed and flown by the US Navy, with Britain’s Sea Lion III completely outclassed in third place. The photographs (winning Curtiss CR-3 seaplane, above, and Schneider Trophy, below) are from the Royal Aero Club Trust’s collection of historic photographs.