Race Of The Century
Being involved in aviation does allow us to do some fun things. Though I was just a spectator, I did do something fun aviation related this past weekend that I thought I'd share here.
The event was called the "Race Of The Century" and was hosted by the Collings Foundation http://www.collingsfoundation.org/menu.htm at their HQ only a few minutes from where I live. Must be nice...big house, huge barn containing an amazing antique car collection, a hangar bigger than any at my local airport and a grass runway next to the scenic Assabet River. The runway was big enough to host the planes and other vehicles involved in the races.
Back some hundred years ago when cars and planes were new, and we didn't have TV and the Internet to entertain us, promoters would stage events to amuse the public and among these were "races"...car versus horse, plane versus car, that sort of thing. And that's what was recreated in Mr. Collings back yard. The races were:
1) A beautiful 1860's built stage couch with two horses against a 1904 Franklin motor car (with transversely mounted engine...guess that idea is not so new).
2) A champion racing horse team and wagon against a Stanley steamer motor car.
3) Stutz Bearcat (very fancy early sports car) versus a 1909 Bleriot Type XI (similar to the first plane to cross the English channel)
4) Stearman biplane versus 1937 sprint car
I like most any kind of vehicle and actually seeing these things run was a thrill. When was the last time you saw a 1909 aircraft actually in flight? Some of the races were actually pretty good too...the Stearman versus sprint car came right down to the line.
So all I can suggest is that in addition to flightsimming be sure to get out and take in real aviation events like this. Wherever you live there's bound to be something interesting to see.
For my complete set of photos from the event, go here: