Wings Over Water

The Story of the World's Greatest Air Race and the Birth of the Spitfire

Jonathan Glancey
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The thrilling story of the Schneider Trophy, a series of glamorous air races that captivated both sides of the Atlantic and became a driver and celebration of speed and engineering prowess.

Announced in 1912, the Schneider Trophy was a series of glamorous air contests, popularly known as races, that captivated both sides of the Atlantic. While there were many other aviation competitions, the Schneider proved to be, after a rocky start, by far the most memorable attracting a hugely popular and glamorous following whether Trophy races were held in Monaco, the Venice Lido, the Solent or Chesapeake Bay.

The Schneider Trophy was a focus not just of remarkable aircraft, derring-do pilots and swooning public attention, but also of fierce rivalries between the competitors: Britain, France, Italy and the United States. It gripped the imaginations of pioneering manufacturers and two of the world's finest aircraft designers ­- Reginald Mitchell and Mario Castoldi - who worked feverishly hard to outdo one another. Perhaps inevitably, the dynamism of rival engineering and politics led to the most potent military fighters of World War Two with Reginald Mitchell's record-breaking Supermarine seaplanes morphing, one way or another, into the Spitfire.

Wings Over Water not only tells the story of the Schneider Trophy afresh but also examines the backdrop and legacy of these legendary air races, which became a driver and celebration of speed and engineering prowess for both sea and ground-based aircraft. It is an exhilarating tale of raw adventure, public excitement, engineering genius and the fortunes of flying boats and seaplanes.

Author bio:

Jonathan Glancey is well known as the former architecture and design correspondent of the Guardian and Independent newspapers. A frequent broadcaster, his books include The Journey Matters, Concorde, Harrier, Giants of Steam, Spitfire: The Biography, Nagaland: A Journey to India's Forgotten Frontier, Tornado: 21st Century Steam, The Story of Architecture and London: Bread and Circuses.

Category: Popular science
ISBN: 9781786494214
Publisher: Atlantic
Imprint: Atlantic PBS
Pub Date: August 2021
Page Extent: 352
Format: Paperback - B format
Subject: 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000