Chicago’s Contributions to the Development of Heavier-Than-Air Flight
INTRO Chicago’s Aviation Pioneers
PART ONE Octave Chanute
PART TWO The Aero Club of Illinois
PART THREE First Aeroplane Flights Over Chicago
PART FOUR Chicago to Springfield
PART FIVE 1911 Aviation Meet
PART SIX Dirigibles
PART SEVEN 1912 Gordon Bennett Race & International Meet
PART EIGHT Municipal Airport (Midway)
PART NINE 1930 National Air Races and Aeronautical Exposition
PART TEN 1933 American Air Race
PART ELEVEN 1937 Amelia Earhart
PART TWELVE Northerly Island Airport (Meigs Field)
Chicago Tribune March 31, 1912
The international aeroplane contest for the Gordon Bennett cup will be held in Chicago Sept. 9, under the auspices of the Aero Club of Illinois. This was decided by the board of manager of the Aero Club of America in New York yesterday, and plans were arranged at a conference of the executive committees of the international aviation meet and the Aero Club of Illinois at the Auditorium hotel last evening.
The conference committees at once named as a finance committee to raise $100,000 for the expenses of the coming meet: Harold F. McCormick, chairman; Charles Dickinson, Charles J. Dawes, and H. H. Porter Jr.
Chicago Tribune, July 30, 1912
Plans for the aero meets to be held in Chicago were advanced yesterday at a meeting of the Aero Club if Illinois. The first event will be the Gordon Bennett race at Clearing,1 to be held on Sept. 9. A four days’ meet at Cicero follows, starting on Sept. 12. The last meet will be held on the lake front, and all the aviators who are to take part will be asked to participate in an aerial parade across the city.
Thirteen flyers, representing six nations, will compete in the Gordon Bennett race, which carries with it the title od world’s champion for the victor. Features of the lake front meet will be cross country races, passenger carrying between Chicago and cities along the north shore as far as Racine, and also an aerial mail service.
The Nieuport machine, belonging to the Aero Club of America, loaned to the Illinois club as a practice plane for the pilot of the defenderm will arrive here tomorrow.
American’s Burgess Monoplane
Chicago Tribune, September 10, 1912
Jules Vedrines, the French aviator known in Europe as “the greatest living airman.” made good on his claim to that title at Clearing field, southwest of Chicago, yesterday, first by winning the James Gordon Bennett cup and later in an exhibition flight by establishing a new world’s speed record for twenty kilometers.
The English equivalent of 20 kilometers is 12.4 miles. Vedrines covered that distance in three laps round the course in the astonishing time of 6 minutes 55.95 seconds. His average speed during the three laps was a trifle faster than 1.79 miles a minute. His rate per hour was nearly 107½ miles.
Vedrines flew a little slower than this in winning the Bennett cup. His fastest lap was made at the of about 105½ miles per hour. He covered the whole distance of the race—124.8 miles—in 70 minutes and 56.8 seconds. It is probable, however, that the Frenchman could have forced his machine up to the 107½ miles an hour clip had there been any necessity for it.
Knew Cup Was His.
He knew an hour before his monoplane darted up over the field that the cup was his if he exercised even ordinary care, for his engine was forty horse power stronger than that of any other machine entered in the race.
The type of car he was using is conceded to be the swiftest iunvented. Consequently he chose to remain on the safe side and held his speed down a notch lower and cut the corners around the pylons a little wider than he might avoid all possibility of a breakdown.
The monoplane in which Vedrines flew is the handicraft of Armand Deperdussia and is of a type new to Chicago. Its body is cylindrical and its driver sits in a depression of the fuselage, which is precisely like the driver’s seat in a “torpedo” style of racing automobile.
Like Speed of Arrow.
Onlly Vedrines’ head showed above the body of the monoplane when he sprang into the air for his first flight, and the car gave the uncanny impression of flying without human guidance. Its speed was the the speed of an arrow. It hurled itself through the air like a projectile, its great propellors whirling in front of in indistinct blur and its short, outstretched wings cutting their way like knives through the stiff breeze that was blowing.
On the straight stretches of the course the aviator could scarcely be seen, but when he “banked” in the turns at the pylons the spectators below were able to see the top of the car and the cavity in which the Frenchman was seated, which sometimes turned toward the earth at an angle of thirty degrees.
Prevost Makes Good Showing,
Maurice Prevost, another Deperdussin flyer, gave Vedrines all the dangerous competition he had. His engine, however, was only 100 horsepower, against 140 for Vedrines’ monoplane, so that, barring accidents, the result of the contest was a foregone conclusion. A 100 horsepower Hanriot driven by Andre Frey, was the third entrant. This machine lacked the lines and motor power of the Deperdussin and, consequently, the speed.
By crowding on all speed and cutting the corners sharply, as well as through the fact that the atmospheric conditions were much better for him when he flew than for Vedrines, Prevost was able to make a very credible showing. His time for the 124.8 miles was only 4 minutes and 28.9 seconds slower than the winner. Frey’s motor broke down on the twenty-fourth lap and he did not finish.
American Racer Withdrawn.
Only a small crowd gathered at Clearing field when Vedrines took wing for his cup flight. He got up at 9:30 in the morning. The fact that the American entrant had been withdrawn at the last minute owing, it is said, to the unexpected discovery of a defect in the mechanism, had mitigated against a large early attendance for it was known the cup would certainly go to the Frenchman. There were a few dozen newspapermen and officials gathered in the stands and possibly 100 other spectators in various parts of the big field.
There was a fresh breeze blowing, but the wind was not strong enough to make flying especially dangerous, though it undoubtedly did cut down Vedrines’ speed. He took the first lap—4.14 miles—in 2 minutes and 24.57 seconds. Then he began gradually to speed up. At the sixteenth lap he was making the circuit within a few decimal points of 2 minutes 20 seconds, and he kept this rate up, except in the eighteenth and twentieth laps, when he lost time at the turns, until he reached the twenty-fourth lap. He reeled that off in 2 minutes 20.24 seconds. This was his fastest lap in the cup race.
MOST REMARKABLE AEROPLANE PHOTOGRAPH EVER TAKEN
The picture here reproduced shows Maurice Prevost’s monoplane rounding a pylon at a speed of more than 100 miles an hour in the race for the Gordon Bennett cup. The Examiner’s photographer, Fred H. Wagner, took the picture from an aeroplane at a height approximately 400 feet above the Prevost monoplane. Wagner was a passenger m Max Lillie’s Wright biplane, which was sent over the course at the last moment m order that the United States might at least have a representative in the greatest of all aeroplane contests.
“It’s All Over,” He Says.
This clip at which he was going is poorly indicated by the figures. Vedrines swooped into sight and out again with all the celerity of a well trained comet. The spectators saw him loom up, a glistening speck in the distance, watched him rush over the mile or so that intervened between the pylon he had just turned and the stand, caught a glimpse of him as he hurtled past, and then saw him whiz out of sight again as he banked at the next turn. He was sailing like an arrow, an arrow that approached and disappeared with a roar of wind beating propellors.
It required thirty circuits of the field to cover the distance stipulated in the terms of the race for which the cup was given. Vedrines made thirty-one. He came down quietly when he had finished and his mechanics trundled his machine back into its hangar.
When Vedrines walked into the inclosure a knot of officials rushed about him.
“Do you think you will win?” the aviator was asked.
The little Frenchman shrugged his shoulders. “It’s all over,” he announced confidently.
Militia Guard Course.
Vedrines had been in the air a little less than an hour and fifteen minutes. In that time, however, the breeze had freshened perceptibly. The other Frenchmen, knowing that calmer weather would come in the evening, were not inclined to take any needless chances by getting up immediately. They moved back into cool corners of their hangars and waited.
Meanwhile the crowd was coming. Automobiles bore down on the field from every point of the compass. Their paths were marked by clouds of light gray dust which rose in the train of machines and were set off distinctly against the vivid green backgrounds furnished by the cornfields.
Company L of the Seventh infantry, under the direction of Capt. Dan Morgan Smith and Lieuts. Tileston and Dake, scattered out over the grounds guarding the entrances to the judges’ stand and the hangar paddock. A hot sun beat down on the heavy blue dress uniforms of the militiamen and they dripped perspiration under it. Their heavy Krag-Jorgensons, slung over weary shoulders, took on the appearance of, instruments of cruel and unusual punishment.
Crowd Gets Thirsty.
The spectators’ field gradually filled up. A park of automobiles gradually assembled south of and facing the judges’ stand. Everybody began to get thirsty all at once. A good many of the crowd got hungry. There was water on the field, piped in from a distance, but it was lukewarm and failed to “touch the spot.”
Two running faucets soon became the center of two thirsty mobs. There were no cups, so the crowd utilized empty pop bottles. Small morasses soon developed around each of the drinking places. The crowd waded up ankle deep in the mud, filled its bottles, and went away to absorb the refreshment. When the bottles were empty the drinkers came back for more. That continued all afternoon.
The pop bottles came from a small refreshment booth below the judges’ stand. There were a good many hundreds of them, buy they didn’t last long at 10 cents apiece. There also had been some sandwiches, but the sandwiches had faded suddenly away before a single concerted onslaught of the hungry mob. Hours afterward more sandwiches arrived, but they, too faded quickly out of sight.
Youths Make Money.
A future wizard of finance about 15 years old came into the grounds and looked the scene over. A few minutes later he and another boy were streaking across the sun drenched prairie to the nearest farmhouse. They were back in a little while with a milk can and a large chunk of ice. They began gathering up the empty pop bottles. Then,
Here y’are, two bottles of ice cold water for 5 cents.
They made a milk can full of money.
This lasted until 4 o’clock. The wind died, There was a dead calm. It was announced that Prevost and Frey were ready to fly. A few minutes afterward they went up. Frey was the first to start, and had gone half way round the course when Prevost took to the air. They whirled around eight times. Then Prevost scuddling close to the ground, swept under Frey just as they banked under a pylon. The Hanriot, swift as it was, was no match for the cleaner Deperdussin. In his twenty-fourth lap Prevost was seen descending on a far corner of the field. His oil had given out.
The Frenchman was wildly angry. He swept his goggles from his eyes and hurled them to the ground with an imprecation. His mechanism came hurrying up. The language that Prevost hurled at that unfortunate individual was all French, but those who heard it say it sounded purple. It looked as if Frey might take second place, but the Hanriot had only struck into its twenty-fourth lap when it, too, began to show signs of wabbling. Frey brought his car to the ground. His engine was out of order. Prevost got up again and finished, but the Hanriot had to be wheeled ignominiously back to its hangar.
Vedrines Startles Crowd.
The air was perfect for flying by this time. The announcement was made that Vedrines, having won the Bennett cup, would fly three times around the course in an attempt to set a world’s record. The Frenchman came out on the field, but halted in the midst of his start. Some one came running toward him from the side lines with the tri-color flung over his shoulders. Dramatically he draped the Frenchman in the flag and then kissed him on both cheeks. The band struck up the “Marseillaise.”
Vedrines finished his race against time in three terrific swoops around the field. Then he raised the hair of the crowd by lunging downward in a swift spiral over the place where the band was playing. The band halted in the middle of the French battle hymn, fled, and his in the bushes. Vedrines, grinning over his strenuous pleasantry, whirled back again into the field and dropped quickly to earth. The sun was sinking and the crowd slowly moved off through the hot fields toward home.
Vedrines Sure He Had Won.
Jules Vedrines, winer of the big race and claimant of new honors for the twenty kilometer speed record, acted like a schoolboy with a new toy last night. He laughed and chattered in French to his teammates and companions, jumped in the air, and cracked his heels, and was literally beside himself with joy.
“Have you sent the cablegrams?” he asked excitedly of his friends. “Have you let the folks at home of this wonderful thing? I knew it would be so; I knew we would win.”
Vedrines was certain of victory after he had finished the morning race. As his machine was being towed back to the hangar he remarked:
That is all; I have won and the others need not take the trouble of trying to beat that record.
Maj. Reber came up to give the French aviator the time of the race.
“I will not bother the track again today,” he said, with a laugh. “Let the others take it, use it through all the day. I have no more use for this track. I have won. The Americans have too much up here” pointing to his head. “They try to work too hard to build racers and to drive them to win. There is no use going through so many motions. It is not necessary.”
French Quarters in Foreground.
Likes American Sportsmen.
The winner paid a high tribute to American sportsmanship and his treatment since coming to America. He said through his interpreter:
I was told the Americans were poor sportsmen. I was told they would do anything to win; that they would not see fair play. That is all wrong, for I have met here the best sportsmen that I have ever seen anywhere. I have been treated withe the greatest of courtesy by every one and the race was arranged and run in the best of style.
I am happy to have taken victory for France, but if any other nation was to have beaten me I should rather it was America. That is what I think. I expect to go back to France tomorrow. I am sorry it must be, for I would like to stay among these people.
Was Sure of Victory.
Of the racinbg course it is perfect. I had no trouble of any kind. I knew I would win, for I had the best machine I think that was entered. In my three years of driving I never had a smoother race than this one. Of course, the French are ahead of the Americans—far ahead of them in the construction of speed machines.
“But you have to pay a royalty to an American for every one you manufacture, just the same,” interrupted Evert Stevens, the “Flying Dutchman,” who was listening to the winner’s comments. “You still have to come to Wright, the daddy of all of ’em, for many things.”
“Yes, that is right,” another Frenchman standing near said. “He is the big American, and we respect him—we aviators of the French.”
Prevost, the second place man, had little to say except that he felt good to see his fellow countryman win.
“I would liked to have won, but if I could not be first I wanted to see my countryman and teammate win. Jules is a good aviator. He deserved to win, and did it. I drove to the best of my ability. I liked the course and I liked the arrangements for the race. The appointments all were perfect, and we were all looked after fine.”
Frey Drops Out of Race.
Andre Frey, the French driver of the Hanriot machine, which dropped out during the twenty-fourth lap, was disappointed over his showing. He brought his machine safely to the ground in the back track immediately opposite the grand stand. He climbed from it and threw himself upon the ground. He was found in the same position fifteen minutes later when his machine crew arrived in automobiles with a repair kit.
“No use,” he said, “the engine trouble is too great to go ahead further. It bothered me from the start, missing now and then. The trouble got steadily worse and finally the engine stopped completely on me. I glided to the ground.”
The beaten aviator helped his assistants repair the balky engine, climbed into the car, and mounted in the air again. He made no effort to drive it beyond the hangars, where he descended. He refused to try to complete the race because of the faulty engine.
Lillie Talks of Race.
Max Lillie, who entered as the American contender in a biplane, laughed when asked his impressions of the race.
“The best I can say is that I was in sight most all of the time of the French drivers,” he asserted. “I had a hard time telling whether I was ahead or behind them in any certain lap. I can say that I was above them, though, for I flew higher.”
Chicago Tribune September 8, 1912
Chicago Tribune September 10, 1912
Monsieur Vedrines may have been seen
Up in the air in his flying machine;
The trophy he holds in his firm embrace
Accounts for the smile that you see on his face.
Aero and Hydro, September 14, 1912
HOW I WON THE INTERNATIONAL AVIATION CUP
BY JULES VEDRINES.
Editor’s Note—On the left side of the fuselage of Vedrines’ race machine there was a reproduction of the famous painting known as the Mona Lisa, or “La Jaconde.” Needless to say, the cap to which he refers had no button on it when the race started.
Ah, c’est “La Joconde”! It is because I have found the real Mona Lisa that I have won the cup for France.
The course is marvelous, but not long enough. A cross-wind blew while I was flying, bringing with it at the turns and among the trees, remous after remous. It was necessary for me to clear the pylones by 200 meters at times, or assume a dangerously steep angle in clipping them close. You should have magnets on those pylones. Why? To pull them out of the way as one flies around.
By the way, did you see my cap after the race with its little button gone? The force of the wind!
It is not difficult to control my machine at high speeds, for the faster one flies the easier it is. The controls can be moved by a finger touch. It is much easier than driving an automobile. But one must learn to control a high-powered machine gradually.
I first flew for six months with a 50 Gnome. Later I essayed a 70. Then I was soon ready for the 100, but not until I became proficient with it did I attempt the 140 used today.
While the Dep is the easiest of machines to control, the monocoque especially, it would be folly for a beginner to try to master the 140 at the beginning. He must step by step learn to control more powerful machines from the 50 up.
In the same way it would have been folly for a pilot not experienced with your 160 horsepower cup defender to attempt to race it, especially today with the rough breeze on the course.
I have heard much in France about the American “bluff,” but since I have been in America I have not seen it. Au contraire I admire American sportsmen, manufacturers and the whole country very much. It seems very likely to me, in view of what America has done in other lines, that it will soon produce more aeroplanes than France itself.
We have only begun to fly fast. Next year we shall make 200 kilometers (——miles) an hour.
Chicago Tribune, September 12, 1912
Twenty-four of the best American and foreign aviators meet today on Cicero flying field to contest for a prize of $24,000 offered by the Aero Club of Illinois. The meet will continue for ten days, the first four. which include the active competition between aeroplanes and a comparison of foreign and American skills, being in Cicero field.
Every day’s flying will consist of exhibition flights, accuracy landing contests with motor shut off 1,000 feet up, bomb, mail, or express dropping into nets, such as might be used by rural mail carriers or parcel deliveries, speed races for world records on a mile circuit, between biplanes and monoplanes, passenger carrying, cross country flights, and tests for expert aviator.
All are declared calculated to demonstrative not the acrobatic possibilities of the aeroplane, but its usefulness as a common carrier.
Famous Aviators to Fly.
Chief of the foreign pilots are Maurice Prevost, whose 103 miles an hour at Clearing aerodrome during the Gordon Bennett race showed him to be superior of even Jules Vedrines, world champion, since Prevost had forty horsepower less to help him along.
The list contains the names of George Mestach, the French Borel pilot; J. R. Montero and C. L. McGrath, the Bleriot drivers; Marcel Tournier, the Nieuport pilot; Max Lillie, the sole American to enter the Gordon Bennett; De Lloyd Thompson; Farnum T. Fish, first to fly from Chicago to Milwaukee; Glenn H. Martin; Giuseppi Calluci, the Italian military driver; Andrew Drew, A. C. Beach, Arch Freeman, Beckwith Havens, Al J. Engel, Howard Gill, Otto W. Brodie, Ignace Seminouk, Anthony Jannus, C. M. Vought, and several others who signed entry blanks at the last moment.
Provides Against Discomforts.
Boxes and chairs have been provided to avoid the discomforts made unavoidable at Clearing by reason of the inaccessibility of the course and the uncertainty of the flying hours.
At Cicero field the grounds will be open for public inspection until 3 o’clock. The official flying hours are 8 to 6 o’clock each afternoon.
A feature of the opening day will be the return of Max Lillie from filling a date in Sandwich, Ill., fifty-two miles away. He expects to fly back to the field in time to take part in the afternoon meet.
The contest committee of the Aero club met last night and decided the nature of the handicaps for the races and established rules to govern the aviators while in flight.
The handicap will be in force for the one mile flights, governing the speed of engines for the races. It was decided that should any aviator in actual flight exceed the handicap by 5 per cent he will be disqualified and barred from the contest. Handicap tests will be held each day.
Aurora as Turning Point.
Maj. Samuel Reber, chairman of the contest committee of the Aero Club of America, informed the local organization that the national committee had decided upon Aurora, Ill., as the point to which aviators trying for expert licenses must fly from Cicero and return before they can qualify.
The distance will be twenty-five miles each way, with no stops allowed during the flight.
Aero and Hydro, September 21, 1912
GREAT FLYING SEEN AT CICERO MEET
CHICAGO, September 16.—Heralded with the death of the American endurance record holder and practically concluded with the death of the former holder of the record, mismanaged during the flying hours so grossly that each event was a lottery rather than a contest, the first part of Chicago’s international aviation meet was concluded at Cicero field yesterday and today sëven machines flown by six different aviators were taken by a 5-mile air route from Cicero to Grant Park, on the lake front, here the activity is scheduled to continue until Sunday night.
Out of 22 entries 14 actually took part in the flying and the work they did kept the majority of them in the air during most of the flying hours so that frequently there were six machines the air. Although protests have been filed it now appears at the leading prize and duration money winners will be Glenn L. Martin (Martin), Max Lillie (Wright) and Antony Jannusn (Benoist). Some of the contestants suffered by participating the first few days.
There was abundant material in fliers and machines for spirited contests, for in addition to the aviators mentioned the following were ready to fly almost at any time, while some of them utilized the flying hours as far as possible: De Lloyd Thompson (Wright), Farnum Fish (Wright), George Mestach (Borel-Morane), Charles Wiggins (Wright), Howard Gill (Wright), Earl Daugherty (I. A. C.).
It is illustrative of the lack of technical, scientific or sportive value of the contests and of the field management that Maurice Prevost (Deperdussin), one of the recordmen of the world, withdrew on the third day with earnings of about $140. This was not the cause of his withdrawal, he stated, but he considered, rather, that he had been insulted by the clerk of the course, or one of his assistants in ordering him around like a super in a grand opera.
Aviators declare that the chief fault in the field management—that is, the running of the events and the control of contestants—has been that they have been regarded and treated more as performers in a show than as contestants in sporting events, the latter being the basis on which they paid their entrance fees. All who were competitors in the meet here last year have cited the conduct of events and the attitude towards contestants then, when everything ran with unusual smoothness.
It is argued that this has probably been due to the fact that some of the important officials of the meet were not particularly concerned with the future of aviation and then they had not had sufficient practical experience with aeroplanes or acquaintance with the airmen to be fully competent for the trying work. It is mentioned as significant that Field Director Andrew Drew, whose management of Cicero field has been considered exemplary, had nothing to do with the control of the events at the meet.
That there was no dearth of material for a meet as successful as the one held last year has been illustrated by the fliers themselves. The flight of seven machines from Cicero to Grant Park today, as a demonstration of the capabilities of aviators and machines exceeded anything of the kind that was done at the 1911 meet. The trials for expert aviator’s brevets of Saturday and Sunday, with no prize incentive, were particularly notable.
On Saturday, Glenn Martin, Max Lillie and De Lloyd Thompson flew to Aurora, Ill., more than 25 miles away, and return, Martin and Lillie completed the trip without landing, then glided down from a height of 2,500 feet to the alighting square, under the observation of Maj. Samuel Reber, of the contest committee of the Aero Club of America. On Sunday Horace Kearny (Curtiss) went out for his expert license, despite the fact that the wind was blowing fully 30 miles an hour. His fight against the wind used so much gasoline that on the return trip he was forced to land with an empty tank when within one and one-half miles of the field.
On opening day, Thursday, Lillie (Wright), who the day before flew to Sandwich, Ill.–56 miles away—to give an exhibition, flew back to Cicero, arriving early in the afternoon. He made the trip each way without landing. After his return to the field he flew 41 minutes.
Old inhabitants of Cicero hardly expected to see any flying in the gale that was blowing Sunday, but besides Kearny, Martin, Lillie and Fish were in the air for time ranging from an hour to a half-hour. Duration on this day was paid for at the rate of $2.54 a minute, on account of the few fliers participating.
The only possible record made at Cicero was a new American record for duration, Saturday being the first time that three passengers were carried in closed circuit. Antony Jannus (Benoist) flew around the course with three others aboard for one minute. The machine touched the ground before the circuit was completed and then rose into the air again. Jannus won $450 in this one minute, taking the prize for greatest duration with three passengers and for carrying the greates number of passengers during the meet.
Official Figures From Day to Day
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
Accurate landing, motor off 1000 feet up.
Prizes, $150, $75, $50, $25.
First, Martin . (Martin), 14 feet; second, Thompson (Wright), 29 feet; third, Lillie (Wright), 56 feet 2 inches; fourth, Maurice Prevost (Deperdussin), 183 feet.
Mail delivery in net.
Prizes, $150, $75, $50, $25.
First, Jannus (Benoist), 49 feet 6 inches; second, Thompson (Wright), 51 feet; third, Martin (Martin), 80 feet; fourth, Gill (Wright), 91 feet, 8 inches.
Twenty kilometer (12.4 miles, biplane handicap.
Prizes, $275, $150, $100, $50.
First, Jannus (Benoist), handicap, 2-28, net time, 12–48; second, Martin (Martin), scratch, 13-04; third, Thompson (Wright), handicap, 4-39, net time, 14-09. Gill was also in this event but was disqualified for exceeding his handicap time by 6.8 per cent.
Twenty kilometers (12.4 miles), monoplane handicap.
Prizes, $275, $150, $100, $50.
First, Mestach (Borel), handicap, 1-09, net time, 12-16; second, Prevost (Deperdussin), scratch, 13-37; third, Montero (Bleriot), handicap, 0–3, net time, 14–45.
Prize, $500, divided according to total duration in minutes. Martin (Martin), 83.75 minutes, $112.87; Thompson (Wright), 63.75 minutes, $85.91, Gill (Wright), 53.25 minutes, $71.77; Wiggins (Wright), 52.50 minutes, $70.76; Lillie (Wright), 41.75 minutes, $56.27; Jannus (Be noist), 37.25 minutes, $50.20; Mestach (Borel), 20.75 minutes, $27,96; Prevost (Deperdussin), 10.50 minutes, $14.15; Daugherty (I. A. C. Co.), 7.50 minutes, $10.11. The rate per minute was $1.3477.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13.
Flag landing from 1000 feet up.
Prizes, $150, $75, $50, $25.
First, Martin (Martin), 9 feet; second, Lillie (Wright), 26 feet 10 inches; third, Prevost (Deperdussin), 122 feet 5 inches; fourth, Thompson (Wright), 127 feet 9 inches.
Quickest getaway to 500 feet.
Prizes, $150, $75, $50, $25.
First, Martin (Martin), 17.45 seconds; second, Lillie (Wright), 20.92 seconds; third, Prevost (Deperdussin), 22.09 seconds; fourth, Gill (Wright), 22.49.
Twenty kilometer (12.4 miles) passenger biplane handicap.
Prizes, $275, $150, $100, $50.
First, Thompson (Wright), handicap, 4-59, net time, 14-10; second, Jannus (Benoist), scratch, time, 15-33; third, Lillie (Wright), handicap, 3-47, net time, 31-13.
Twenty kilometer (12.4 miles) passenger monoplane handicap. Prizes, $275, $150, $100, $50.
Mestach (Borel), net time, 14-55.
Prize, $500, divided according to total duration in minutes.
Thompson (Wright), 120 minutes, $117.53; Wiggins (Wright), 111.75 minutes, $109.45; Lillie 74 minutes, $72.48; Martin (Martin), 44.75 minutes, $43.83; Gill (Wright), 35.75 minutes, $35.02; Daugherty (T. A. C. Co.), 30.75 minutes, $30.21; Mestach (Borel), 29.50 minutes, $28.89; Beech (Beech-National), 25.75 minutes, $25.13; Jannus (Benoist), 23.75 minutes, $23.26; Prevost (Deperdussin), 14.50 minutes, $14.20. Total flying time was 510.5 minutes, the rate per minute being 97.94 cents.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14.
Mail delivery in a net.
Prizes, $150, $75, $50, $25.
First, Martin (Martin), 8% yards; second, Lillie (Wright), 9 yards; third, Mestach (Borel), 9% yards; Fish (Wright), 11 yards. This event was protested by Mestach and has not yet been decided.
Bomb shooting at inclined target.
Prizes, $150, $75, $50, $25.
First, Fish (Wright), 4 points; second, Sjolander (Curtiss type), 2 points; third, Beech (Beech-National), 1 point.
Twenty kilometer (12.4 miles) biplane scratch race.
Prizes, $275, $150, $100, $50.
First, Kearny (Curtiss), 12-49; second, Beech (Beech-National), 15-42; third, Lillie, (Wright), 16-45; fourth, Fish (Wright), 18–56. Sjolander, Gill and Jannus did not finish the event. Martin was disqualified for crowding at the pilons. by Martin on account of his disqualification as above. protest has not as yet been decided.
Prize, $500, divided according to the total duration.
Fish (Wright), 102.75 minutes, $83.50; Lillie 99.25 minutes, $79.88; Kearny (Curtiss), 64.50 minutes, $51,91; Mestach (Borel), 55.75 minutes, $44.87; Beech (Beech-National), 61 minutes, $49.09; Martin (Martin), 50.75 minutes, $40.84; Wiggins (Wright), 49.25 minutes, $39.64; Sjolander (Curtiss type), 45 minutes, $36.22; Jannus (Benoist), 36.75 minutes, $29.58; Gill (Wright), 20 minutes, $16.10; Thompson (Wright), 20 minutes, $16.10; Prevost (De perdussin), 15.25 minutes, $12.27. The total duration was 612.25 minutes, making 80.48 cents per minute.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15.
Accurate landing, motor-off 1000 feet up.
Prizes, $150, $75, $50, $25.
First, Martin (Martin), 84.2 feet; second, Kearny (Curtiss), 170 feet; third, Fish (Wright), more than 328 feet. Lillie filed a protest because he was disqualified for not finishing in this event before 5 o’clock, as provided for by the rules.
Bomb shooting at inclined target.
Prizes, $150, $75, $50, $25.
First, Lillie (Wright), 4 points; second, Fish (Wright). 2 points; third, Kearny (Curtiss), 1 point.
Forty kilometer (24.8 miles) free-for-all handicap.
Prizes, $550, $250, $175, $100, $75.
First, Martin (Martin), handicap 4:39 minutes, net time 14-28; second, Kearny (Curtiss), scratch, net time 14-58; third, Lillie (Wright), handicap, 3-40, net time 15-34. Fish was disqualified for exceeding his handicap time by 6.6 per cent.
Prize, $500, divided according to total duration.
Fish (Wright), 63.75 minutes, $162.01; Kearny (Curtiss), 58.75 minutes, $149.30; Lillie (Wright), 40.25 minutes, $102.29; Martin (Martin), 34 minutes, $86.40.
Greatest number of passengers carried 500 feet or more.
Prize, $250. Won by Jannus (Benoist), by flying with 3 passengers besides himself for one minute.
Greatest duration for single flight with three passengers.
Won by Jannus (Benoist), duration, one minute.
Greatest duration for single flight, pilot and one passenger.
Won by Thompson (Wright), duration. 1 hour, 1 minute and 45 seconds.
Greatest duration for single flight, pilot and two passengers.
Won by Lillie (Wright), duration 5-30.
Aero and Hydro, September 21, 1912
CHICAGO, September 15.—Howard Warfield Gill, while flying an EX model Wright fitted with 60-horsepower Hall-Scott motor, in the biplane free-for-all shortly before 6 p. m., Saturday, fell 40 feet to the ground with his machine when the elevator, rudder and stabilizer was torn away by the running gear of the 50 Gnome Borel-Morane monoplane, driven by George Mestach, competing in another event.
Gill was flying straight ahead when Mestach’s plane collided with the Wright tail and cut away all control of the machine. Gill’s back was broken by the fall and he died 15 minutes later on the way to the Garfield Park hospital.
While Mestach was infringing the rule of the meet which provides that aviators shall fly at a distance of at least 150 feet above and at least 75 on the right when passing another contestant, this rule had been broken repeatedly since the opening of the meeting without any contestant being flagged or censured, and it had begun to be regarded as non-existant.
Mestach’s monoplane made a fairly safe landing after be ing swung about by the impact and the pilot immediately climbed out of his machine and went to Gill’s assistance. Mestach, when removed to St. Anthony of Padua hospital, was found to be not badly injured.
The police on the field permitted hundreds of people to run cut to the scene of the accident so that it was some time before Antony Jannus, who was still in the air, could find a place to land. One police officer stood calmly watching the people in their mad scramble until rudely awakened to his duty by one of the spectators.
Gill’s faithful mechanics, Burns and Johnson, forewarned by Gill as to what to do in an emergency, guarded the wreck of his machine with clubs and the souvenir vultures were thwarted. Royal Gill, Howard’s brother, was one of the first on the scene of the tragedy and went with the ambulance that hurried vainly to the hospital.
The body of the dead aviator was taken to Baltimore today at 2:45 p.m., on the limited train. His mother and two brothers survive him.
PAUL PECK KILLED TESTING SPEED BIPLANE
Chicago, Ill., September 11.—Paul Peck, holder of the American endurance record, was killed at Cicero at 5:10 this evening by a fall in his aeroplane at Cicero field.
Peck was trying out a new speed biplane which had been built for him by the Columbia Aeroplane Company fer the speed events at the Chicago meet. The machine was a smail surface biplane of 220 square feet area equipped with a Gyro motor. Previous to the accident Peck made several circles of the field to test out the air qualities of the new type. Upon landing after the first flight, Peck remarked the ease of control and the great speed and climbing ability of the machine.
Shortly after this Peck made another flight, in the rather gusty wind. He attained an altitude of more than 1,000 feet in three circles of the field. At this elevation he was ob served to put the machine in a steep spiral, banked at an angle of about 70 degrees.
At this angle several complete turns were made, the banking angle decreasing somewhat as
the machine approached the ground. Peck apparently did not have control the machine at any stage of the spiral as it continued until the final crash upon striking the ground. He was fatally £d by the impact, dying at the hospital several hours later.
Peck was a native of Charleston, W. Va., and was at the time of his death 22
years old. His wife died a few months ago. A daughter survives him. He obtained his license at College Park, Md., July 29-30, 1911, on a Rex Smith biplane. He held certificate No. 57.
Clearing Aviation Field
1 On June 7, 1910, arrangements for the Aero Club of Illinois to lease the 8,000 acre tract at Forty-seventh avenue and Sixty-third street, known as the Argo tract, were authorized.
On June 18, 1912, arrangements to lease the 3,000 acre pact at Forty-seventh avenue and Sixty-third street, known as the Argo tract were authorized.