Grosvenor Cup

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Grosvenor Challenge Cup
Awarded forFastest time over a measured distance (time trial)
Presented byEdward Grosvenor
First awarded1923
Last awarded1955

The Grosvenor Challenge Cup, commonly known as the Grosvenor Cup, was a trophy presented by Lord Edward Grosvenor in 1923 to the winner of a light aircraft time trial competition.[1] Entries were initially restricted to British designs using aero engines of less than 150 horsepower.[1] The first competitions were held at Lympne Aerodrome in Kent. The contest continued until 1935 with a break to 1949 when the Royal Aero Club resumed the races at Elmdon where the entry was opened to British and international designs with a weight less than 1,000 kilograms.[1]

For the 1949 event the contest had been briefly renamed to The Grosvenor Challenge Trophy Race, the 1950 event reverted to the former title.[1]


Lord Edward Grosvenor the former Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) aviator and the youngest son of the Duke of Westminster presented the cup, his objective in offering the cup "is to give a chance to the low-power machine, one comparable to the average motor car, with a horse-power of say thirty or forty. I think this will prove the most suitable type for general use, as the really low-powered light aeroplane will not be large enough for general touring about the country."[2]


For the first handicap race in 1923 they were ten entrants for the first prize of a £100 and a second prize of £50, the winner was also allowed to keep the cup for a year.[3] Only nine aircraft started the race and only five made it to the finishing line, the first to land was Walter Longton in the Sopwith Gnu.[2] Lord Edward Grosvenor witnessed the start and the end of the race at Lympne and the cup was presented to the winner by Beatrice Grosvenor.[2] During the race Major Ernest Leslie Foot died when his Bristol M.1 G-EAVP aircraft crashed at Chertsey.[2]


In 1924 the entry requirement was changed from an engine with no more than 150 hp power to those a displacement no more than 1,100 cc.[4] Originally planned to be flown from Lympne to Manston twice this was later changed to a course closer to the airfield, the aircraft did eight circuits of the course to complete 100 miles.[4] The race had eighteen entries.[5]


In 1925 the handicap race used the same eight circuit course around Lympne as in 1924 but the entry requirement was changed to aircraft with engines that weighed no more than 275 lb.[6] The race had twelve entries and was won by Flight Lieutenant J.S. Chick flying the RAE Hurricane.[7]

Summary table[edit]

Sources: Flightglobal Archive and Dorman 1951.[8]

Date Location Course
Course Winner Winning pilot Aircraft type Engine type Registration Average
23 June 1923 Lympne 404 Lympne, Croydon, Birmingham (Castle Bromwich), Bristol (Filton), Croydon, Lympne Frank McClean Walter Longton Sopwith Gnu Le Rhône 9J G-EAGP 87.6
4 October 1924 Lympne 100 Lympne, Postling, Hastingleigh, Lympne (eight laps) Alliott Verdon Roe Bert Hinkler Avro Avis Bristol Cherub G-EBKP 65.87
3 August 1925 Lympne 100 Lympne, Postling, Hastingleigh, Lympne P.G.N.Peters Flt Lt J.S.Chick RAE Hurricane Bristol Cherub G-EBHS 81.19
18 September 1926 Lympne 75 Lympne, Postling, Hastingleigh, Lympne (six laps) Robert Blackburn Sqn Ldr W.H.Longton Blackburn Bluebird Armstrong Siddeley Genet 84.95
30 July 1927 Hucknall 15 Mrs S.C.Elliott-Lynn Mrs S.C.Elliott-Lynn de Havilland DH.60 Moth ADC Cirrus II 88.5
1928 No contest
5 October 1929 Cramlington 31.7 Newcastle-upon-Tyne Aero Club G.S.Kemp de Havilland DH.60 Moth ADC Cirrus II 98
7 September 1930 Desford 33 Newcastle-upon-Tyne Aero Club L.Turnbull de Havilland DH.60 Moth ADC Cirrus II G-EBQV 95
22 August 1931 Newcastle 53.5 H.Peake Sqn Ldr J.W.Woodehouse Blackburn Bluebird de Havilland Gipsy I 95
2 July 1932 Portsmouth 50 Three laps Carol S. Napier Carol S. Napier Westland Widgeon de Havilland Gipsy I G-AADE 98
1933-34 No contests
13 July 1935 Desford 84 W.Lindsay-Everard Lt Cmdr C.W.Phillips de Havilland DH.60 Moth de Havilland Gipsy III 109.25
1936-48 No contests
1 August 1949 Elmdon 40 Two laps of a 20 mile course Midland Aero Club D.A.Arch Auster Autocrat Blackburn Cirrus Minor II 112.5
29 July 1950 Woolsington 80 Four laps of a 20 mile course K.C.Millican K.C.Millican Tipsy Trainer I Walter Mikron II 97.5
23 June 1951 Hatfield 105 Three laps of a 35 mile course Cancelled due to bad weather[9]
11 July 1952 Woolsington 65.6 Two laps of a 33 mile course D.F. Ogilvy D.F. Ogilvy Avro Club Cadet de Havilland Gipsy Major G-ACHP 106.5[10][11]
20 June 1953 Southend-on-Sea 29.67 Three laps of a 9.89 mile course D.R. Robertson D.R. Robertson de Havilland Moth Minor de Havilland Gipsy Minor G-AFPN 111[12][13]
17 June 1955 Whitchurch 18 Three laps of a six mile course Miss Freydis M. Leaf Tipsy Trainer I 92

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Dorman 1951, p. 188.
  2. ^ a b c d "400-Mile Air Race." Times [London, England] 25 June 1923: 18. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
  3. ^ "Grosvenor Cup." Times [London, England] 21 June 1923: 16. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Light Two-Seater Aeroplanes." Times [London, England] 15 Sept. 1924: 17. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
  5. ^ "Light Aeroplane Trials." Times [London, England] 4 Oct. 1924: 8. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
  6. ^ "Air Races This Year." Times [London, England] 6 May 1925: 13. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
  7. ^ "Flying Contests At Lympne." Times [London, England] 4 Aug. 1925: 16. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
  8. ^ Dorman 1951, pp. 188-190.
  9. ^ Lewis 1971, p. 362.
  10. ^ Lewis 1971, pp. 366, 476-7.
  11. ^ "National Air Races in the North". Flight, 18 July 1952, Vol. LXII, No. 2269, pp. 58–61, 82.
  12. ^ Lewis 1971, p. 373.
  13. ^ "National Air Races: Keen Racing at Southend-on-Sea". Flight, 26 June 1953, Vol LXIII, No. 2318, pp. 804–805.
  • Dorman, Geoffrey. Fifty Years Fly Past. London. Forbes Robertson Ltd. 1951 (No ISBN)
  • Lewis, Peter. British Racing and Record Breaking Aircraft. London: Putnam, 1971. ISBN 0-370-00067-6.
  • Flightglobal Archive -

External links[edit]