Talk:1910 London to Manchester air race

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Featured article 1910 London to Manchester air race is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 9, 2012.
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June 1, 2010 Featured article candidate Promoted
Did You Know
A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on May 21, 2010.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that during the 1910 London to Manchester air race, Claude Grahame-White's Farman III biplane was guarded by boy scouts, while he ate biscuits?

How long are the 'miles' quoted?[edit]

This article has several instances of the term 'mile'. It could be a nautical mile or a statute mile but none of the instances states how long the 'mile' is. Mosnum says:

  • "Use nautical mile or statute mile rather than mile in nautical and aeronautical contexts."

Is anybody able to state which 'mile' any of them are? Lightmouse (talk) 16:46, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

As I stated below, I think we can safely assume that the miles referred to in the article are statute miles. However, as it is an aeronautical article, the MOSNUM guidelines do push us towards specifying which mile is used. There are two ways we can do this: replacing mile with statute mile in every instance or putting a note at the beginning of the article that all the miles referred to in the article are statute miles. (Even if the article put kilometres first, we would still need to specify in some way whether we were using statute miles or nautical miles.)
For stylistic reasons I would favour putting a note at the beginning of the article pointing out that the miles in the article are statute miles. However, we also need to ensure that whatever measures are used, that they are accurate. I don't have the skill to check the measures with Google Earth, but perhaps someone else does. Then, having determined what the distances are, we can specify them in whatever measures the editors think is most appropriate. Michael Glass (talk) 00:02, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Notices declaring all following text to be x, y, or z would work for an article written and audited by a closed group of people. On Wikipedia, asuch notices cannot be relied upon. It may be true at the time the notice is placed, but it cannot be guaranteed to remain true after other editors have become involved. I've seen plenty of examples where such well-intentioned notices are no longer true and actually mislead the reader. Subsequent editors often focus on just one section of text and may add text that is non-compliant without modifying the notice. Lightmouse (talk) 20:13, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I'm afraid you're right about the text being modified. Without specifying statute miles or nautical miles in at every instance we cannot be completely sure which one is being talked about. There are several ways that this can be dealt with. The first is to prefer kilometres for distances. The second is to give a conversion to kilometres in every instance. The third is to specify statute mile in every instance. The present compromise position is not strictly accurate. Michael Glass (talk) 23:56, 1 January 2011 (UTC)


This very interesting article uses miles as is the custom in the UK. However, miles are no longer universally understood in English-speaking countries. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa changed to the metric system over 35 years ago. Therefore it would be an advantage to have more conversions into kilometres in the article. (I think we can safely assume that the measurements are in statute miles.}

There are 15 instances of the words mile and miles in the article, but in only two instances are conversions supplied. This could certainly be increased without overloading the article. What do other editors think? Michael Glass (talk) 10:24, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

I don't mind the odd metric conversion being added but I don't think its helpful to add a conversion to every instance. I think sometimes Wikipedia thinks that nobody is capable of mental arithmetic, in truth its very simple to convert between the two standards. I would add that in the UK, distance is almost exclusively measured in miles. Parrot of Doom 10:45, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

OK. I'll add a few. That should be helpful to those who are not familiar with miles. Michael Glass (talk) 11:15, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

I have now added several conversions, trying to avoid having them too close together. There are several more that could be added, especially where the conversion is not so easy (e.g., 115 miles, 185 miles) or in the first instance of the easier conversions (e.g., 1, 5 and 10 miles). However, this would mean that several would be quite close together, and though it is helpful, it also can look quite clumsy. Michael Glass (talk) 11:42, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

I took a couple out, but not all. I simply don't think that anyone has a problem converting from one to the other, and if they do, mental arithmetic is an extremely simple discipline to learn. No offence to you but I'm not surprised that this country does so badly in its school results, everyone uses calculators whereas I learnt with times tables and my fingers. Parrot of Doom 18:00, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

No offence taken, but what might be perfectly acceptable for the UK is not so helpful in the US (which uses the old units) or most of the rest of the world (which is mostly metric). As Wikipedia is world-wide in scope, we should take a world-wide perspective rather than a national perspective, and include the conversions unless there's a good reason to leave them out. Michael Glass (talk) 21:33, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry but I don't agree and I don't want this article to be littered with conversions. It has nothing to do with nationalism, and everything to do with common sense. It just looks bloody stupid. Parrot of Doom 23:44, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree that providing conversions is a pain but what's litter to you is helpful to others because they do not think of distance in terms of miles. That's why MOSNUM says:"Where English-speaking countries use different units for the same measurement, follow the "primary" unit with a conversion in parentheses. This enables more readers to understand the measurement." At the moment the article provides some conversions but not others, with no apparent order. Why, for instance, should we give the conversion for 185 miles but not 107 miles or for 60 miles but not for 30 miles? This follows neither common sense, nor logic nor MOSNUM policy. I think that we should at least give a conversion for 107 miles. Michael Glass (talk) 05:23, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

This is why originally I didn't want any but the first instances of a unit converted. Before long you have people asking for everything to carry a conversion, and as I have to continually remind people, guidelines do not equal policy. Presumably there are legions of people so confused by the units in this article that they're in padded cells, gibbering to themselves, which is why we haven't heard from them. Or maybe people don't care, and would rather read an interesting article than worry about numbers. Parrot of Doom 09:09, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

We have two competing desires: neatness of layout versus the need to provide for the greatest number of readers. I believe that just one more conversion (of 107 miles) would be a suitable compromise and I would be content to let the matter rest. Michael Glass (talk) 22:20, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Ok I'll settle for that. Parrot of Doom 23:29, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

No problems! Have a merry Christmas! Michael Glass (talk) 00:18, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Whose plane?[edit]

The caption to the picture under 1910 London to Manchester air race#Presentation says the aeroplane at Lichfield is Grahame-White's before his historic take-off at night, while the documentation for the image itself clearly states that it's Paulhan's. Which (if either) is true? And if it's Paulhan's, is it at Lichfield or somewhere else? —— Shakescene (talk) 04:59, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

The page isn't opening in my browser, does it work for anyone else? Parrot of Doom 12:19, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
It's working now and you're correct. Thanks for pointing that out, I've fixed it. Parrot of Doom 00:46, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Claude Grahame-White: the first (or the third) British pilot to get a Aviator's Licence?[edit]

At the risk of being accused of hair-splitting, I'd like to point out that Grahame-White wasn't the first Englishman to be awarded an aviator's certificate, as claimed in this article. The article on Grahame-White claims more cautiously that he was "one of the first".

The reason is that, although Grahame-White got his licence (French cert. no. 30) on 4 Jan. 1910, 2 days before Charles Rolls (No. 23), the brothers Henry (no. 5, on 7 Jan. 1909) and Maurice Farman (no. 6, although much later, on 18 Nov. 1909, the 18th licence by date) were both British at the time the received their licences. I don't know whether Maurice ever adopted French nationality, but it wasn't until 1937 than Henry Farman did so. Flight's 1958 obituary clarifies this point explicitly:

"Henry Farman was born on May 26, 1874, and the question of his nationality was the subject of a recent Flight "Correspondence" letter (April 11, 1958) from Charles H. Gibbs-Smith. Mr. Gibbs-Smith's researches showed that Farman was a British subject until 1937, when he became a naturalized Frenchman. Thus he was the first Briton to fly in a powered aeroplane and the first Briton to become a powered-aeroplane pilot — in fact, the first of all British aviators, if gliding is excluded."

Is this one for QI? --TraceyR (talk) 16:16, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I think in that case its perfectly fine to change the article to be a little more ambiguous. Parrot of Doom 23:18, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

There are some errors in this article.[edit]

Grahame-White wasn't the first pilot to fly at night, but he was the first to do so under competition conditions. Secondly, Paulhan didn't land in Didsbury, but in a field of Pytha Fold Farm near to Burnage station. There is a blue heritage plaque on the side of a house in Paulhan Road, Burnage. See the article "Looking Back" in the South Manchester Reporter April 2010, which marked the centenary of the flight. The Daily Mail April 29th, 1910, gives a full report. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:41, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry this took so long but I've rechecked and the sources aren't quite clear on whether his was the first night-time take-off, or the first night-time flight. So I've settled for the former; if the latter is also true, well the article then implies it. As for the landing location, the contemporary sources all say Didsbury and I think we should stick with that. Boundaries do change. Parrot of Doom 22:11, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Info added[edit]

An editor made some changes to a paragraph, copied in full below:

"Within weeks of Paulhan's victory, the Daily Mail offered a new prize; £10,000 to the aviator to cover a 1,000-mile (1,609-km) circuit of Britain, with 11 compulsory stops at fixed intervals, in the shortest time. The challenge—the Daily Mail Circuit of Britain Air Race—was completed on 26 July 1911 by Jean Conneau, an officer in the French Navy flying under the pseudonym André Beaumont, in about 22½ hours. Paulhan and Grahame-White did not compete, but they did participate in the 1910 competition for the newspaper's prize of £1,000 for the greatest aggregate cross-country flight, which Paulhan won."

It seems interesting enough but as its uncited, I'll leave it here and restore the earlier version. Perhaps someone can confirm this? Parrot of Doom 21:14, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

There are quite full reports in the 22 and 29 July 1911 editions of Flight linked from Daily Mail Circuit of Britain Air Race. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:42, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Which prince?[edit]

The text refers to a "Prince Berthold of Sweden" and links to Margrave Berthold of Baden (,_Margrave_of_Baden). Is it in fact "Prince Bertil of Sweden" ( that is intended? The latter is well-known for his interest in motor sports. (talk) 21:06, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

The relevant text may be found in the accompanying citation. If there's some doubt as to the correct link, it's probably easier just to remove it. Parrot of Doom 21:14, 11 March 2012 (UTC)


... to all the editors : this page has now been translated into french. Hop ! Kikuyu3 (talk) 21:26, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

First in England or World?[edit]

The lede currently talks about "the first long-distance aeroplane race in England", while the "Legacy" section talks about "the world's first long-distance air race". Now which is it? (Well obviously both can be true, but in that case the lede should mirror the more general statement.) Also: if these are disputed points, mentions of (and links to) the contending events would be helpful. --BjKa (talk) 15:06, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

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