|The Grosvenor Challenge Cup|
|Awarded for||Fastest time over a measured distance (time trial)|
|Presented by||Edward Grosvenor|
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. Entries were initially restricted to British designs using aero engines of less than 150 horsepower. 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.
For the 1949 event the contest had been briefly renamed to The Grosvenor Challenge Trophy Race, the 1950 event reverted to the former title.
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."
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. 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. 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. During the race Major Ernest Leslie Foot died when his Bristol M.1 G-EAVP aircraft crashed at Chertsey.
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. 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. The race had eighteen entries.
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. The race had twelve entries and was won by Flight Lieutenant J.S. Chick flying the RAE Hurricane.
Sources: Flightglobal Archive and Dorman 1951.
|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|
|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|
|13 July 1935||Desford||84||W.Lindsay-Everard||Lt Cmdr C.W.Phillips||de Havilland DH.60 Moth||de Havilland Gipsy III||109.25|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|17 June 1955||Whitchurch||18||Three laps of a six mile course||Miss Freydis M. Leaf||Tipsy Trainer I||92|
- Dorman 1951, p. 188.
- "400-Mile Air Race." Times [London, England] 25 June 1923: 18. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
- "Grosvenor Cup." Times [London, England] 21 June 1923: 16. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
- "Light Two-Seater Aeroplanes." Times [London, England] 15 Sept. 1924: 17. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
- "Light Aeroplane Trials." Times [London, England] 4 Oct. 1924: 8. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
- "Air Races This Year." Times [London, England] 6 May 1925: 13. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
- "Flying Contests At Lympne." Times [London, England] 4 Aug. 1925: 16. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
- Dorman 1951, pp. 188-190.
- Lewis 1971, p. 362.
- Lewis 1971, pp. 366, 476-7.
- "National Air Races in the North". Flight, 18 July 1952, Vol. LXII, No. 2269, pp. 58–61, 82.
- Lewis 1971, p. 373.
- "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 - www.flightglobal.com