Schneider Trophy Races

1913-1931

Aeronautical Races - 1

Floatplanes Faster Than Landplanes
About our proposal:

INSPIRATION - WHY THE SCHNEIDER TROPHY?

Functioning as a hired artwork provider enables research and thought to be spread onto a vast variety of subject matter - over and above what other occupations would enable me and is something that I am immensely grateful for.

Inspired by the art and books shown to me by a friend, during a research trip to locations in London, I visited the Londons Science Museum and was amazed to see a gleaming French-born Art-Deco style trophy entitled The Spirit of Flight or alternatively known as the Flying Flirt. It was gleaming in a mirror-backed case under a spot-light. A delicately winged silver nymph-like figure swoops down, suspended in the air, with all the grace and beauty of an Alphose Mucha muse, kissing one of Neptunes sons amongst the waves of the ocean. They are gazed upon by protective crustaceans of the sea and all together lifted above the ground by a magnificent green marble base. It is a gloriously beautiful piece of art and can still be found at the museum, a relic on display as part of the museums collection, kindly hired out from the UKs Royal Aero Club.

By contrast, directly beside it towers a slightly oddly shaped contraption! A giant blue and silver form, a bit moth eaten to look at with the paint flaking, the metal slightly dented, the top a little dusty - but none of that seemed to matter. Curiosity had firmly set-in: what a strange mixture this plane was: huge comic book style floats, a glimmering silver engine and just about the smallest seat you could imagine.

Having been an animation student at university I was well aware of the work by Studio Ghibli in Japan and the stories of Hayao Miyazaki. One was called Porco-Rosso, a story of a detective, magic-ed into the disguise of a pig. The plane looked very familiar, and indeed, the two are very much associated as the Savoia, Macchi and Curtis Biplanes appear in the film. So if this series of races could inspire one of, if not THE greatest, animation companies of modern times to spend the best part of 3 years manufacturing a hand-drawn animated feature, to include a huge amount of its aircrafts....it must be something pretty special.

Then I heard of the re-enactments, became aware of the magazine reports, models and trinkets and knew, this plane and this trophy - it is part of something very very special indeed. I must learn more.

THE AIM:

Acting as an illustrator and author on this project, my aim is to provide through visuals the dignity, grace and captivating thrill that comes across from the craft this trophy represents.
I am in the process of putting together the information collected about the crews, designers, full race reports, craft development histories, contextual information, plane statistics, into one encapsulating fully-illustrated book. Some of the book will also include diagrammatic plans of the crafts and photographic content for which I am working with specialists in these forms of drawing.
The book is going to easily meet the 200 page mark and will eventually work out to around the 220 - 250 pages mark.

LIMITATIONS - WHY I NEED THE SUPPORT OF CROWD-BACKING:
If I am able to secure funding, then the book can make use of a time-dependant quote from a top shelf art-book printers. The time to get the books manufactured will take around the 3 month mark so books should hit doorsteps and shelves during late Spring/ early Summer (Obviously, anyone who has helped back the project will have their copies of books/ prints etc send out to them first as soon as they have finished production).

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO GET THIS PROJECT OFF THE GROUND?:

Visiting air-shows across the UK I know how these terrific events can enthral crowds; making memorable family events. We have recently lost our our event here in the South East of England due to a lack of support from a biased council. Thousands of people have partitioned against its closing; an air show of equal scope and ability to those that attend other major seasonal events such as the motor revival in Chichester - both featuring in past events amazing display teams such as the Red Arrows and the Royal Navy Black Cats. This has inspired me all the more to focus on bringing out the excitement of these older historic races.

Events and days out are required by our economy more than ever - as more people buy and sell online, out high-streets fail, their overheads are so great due to pressure from tax and energy bills to run their units. If they cannot regain everyday custom from the people on the streets through competitive prices then they can still flourish by providing good service and an experience. Air-shows like that of Southend, National Art Displays and Sailing races all bring in people and allow for our street vendors to celebrate and sell their wares; spirit high from a unique event and new introductions.

This book, with your help to get it off the ground, can help play a part in this - remind people how great these days in a year can be, why we love them, why by tradition we enjoy spending our weekend at these events and maybe we can regain a little of the joy that the recent times of recession have plundered.

I have the support of a good team, a broad skill set available to call upon, and with the stacks of information already accumulated for this project, I know this book can succeed, becoming something beautiful for people to enjoy owning.

So, come on fellow tea drinkers, lets make this project take flight!.

Author: ArchitectPage