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The Circuit de l'Est was a long-distance air race held in France in August 1910, starting and finishing in Paris. It was won by Alfred Leblanc flying a Blériot IX monoplane. Sponsored by the Parisian newspaper Le Matin

Held in six stages

Although 30 aircraft had been entered for the race, only ten were present at Issy and two of these failed to start.

Fisrt to take off was Emile Aubrun, flying a Blériot XI followed by Alfre Leblanc, also in a Blériot. Mamet (bleriot]], Lindepainter Sommer Bielovucic Voisin (landed) Busson Bleriot Bregi Voisin Legagneux and Charles Weymann, both Farmans.

Leblanc was the first to reach Troyes, shortly followed by Aubrun, who had taken a less direct course in order to follow the course of the Seine to avoid getting lost. Lindpaintner was the next arrival, and then at long intervals came Mamet, Legagneux, and Weymann, the three last having been delayed on their journey through missing their way. Busson, was forced to land twice because of engine trouble, damaging his aircraft the second time and being forced to retire. Bregi also had engine trouble, and came down at Pontecarre, and was unable to reach Troyes inside the time limit. The times of the first three, for the 140 kiloms. from Issy to Troyes, were Leblanc 1. 32m. 20s., Aubrun 1h. 37m. 25s., Lindpaintner 2h. 25s., and Mamet 3h. 8m. Leblanc won the first prize of 7,000 francs., Aubrun took the second prize of 3,000 frs., and Lindpaintner third prize of 1,000 frs.

On the monday some exhibition flights and local competitions at Troyes. During these, both Weymann and Mamet damaged their aircraft, and were unable to start the next stage.

At five o'clock on Tuesday morning four of the competitors lined up for the start on the second stage to Nancy, and Lindpaintner was the first away at 5.14. At that time there was a heavy fog, and the Sommer pilot had difficulty in finding his way, eventually landing at Valleret. Legagneux was the next to get off, and finally, at twenty minutes to six, Aubrun rose into the air, quickly followed by Leblanc. On the first day the flags which were put up to indicate the route were found to be ineffective, and on the second stage large white sheets were spread on the ground in some places, and bonfires lighted in others, which resulted in considerable improvement.

Leblanc 150 kilom. journey in 2h. 19m. 49s., Aubrun took 2h. 27m. 50s. Legagneux got lost, but he eventually arrived safely afler 5 hrs. 31 mins., and Lindpaintner, who landed at Valleret, hoped to complete his journey before the time limit expired.



The Paris-Madrid air race was an air race held in 1911. It was won by Jules Védrines and is remembered for the accident at the start of the race which killed the French Minister for War, Henri Maurice Berteaux.

Start of the race[edit]

The race was organised by the Le Petit Parisien[1] and was held in three stages, the first being from Issy-les-Moulineaux to Angoulême [400 km (250 mi)], the second from Angoulême to San Sebastian and the third from San Sebastian to Madrid, [462 km (287 mi)]. The first prize was 100,000 francs, with 30,000 francs as second prize and 15000 francs for third place [2]

The event attracted great public interest, and around 200,000 spectators had gathered at Issy by 3.30 on the morning of 20 May 1911. Competitors were to take of at five-minute intervals starting at 5.00, but flying started at around 3.45, when Jules Védrines and Alfred Frey made short trial flights.

The first competitor to take off, at 5.10 was Andre Beaumont took off, followed by Roland Garros and Gilbert. Frey took off at 5.35, made a circuit of the field and landed: after some adjustments he tried again at 6.00, but damaged a wheel and had to delay his attempt for repairs. The next competitor was not ready, and the following, Garnier, only made a short flight. He was followed by Jules Védrines, who immediately after take off attempted to land since his aircraft was not handling properly. In an effort to avoid the spectators he crashed, escaping injury but severely damaging his aircraft. At 6.22 Le Lasseur de Ranssay departed and at 6.30 Andre Train was called to the starting line.

The crowd had begun had began to get out of control at around six, spilling out of the enclosures onto the flying field: and although no-oneoth than the aviators, thier assistants and race officials were meant to enter the flying area, the party of government ministers had also left their grandstand.

In Train's own words: [3]

" As soon as I left the ground, I perceived that the motor was not working well. I was about to land, after making a turn to one side,when I saw a detachment of cuirassiers crossing the flying track. I then tried to make a short curve to avoid them, and to land in the opposite direction, but my motor at that moment failed more and more, and I was unable to undertake the curve. I raised the machine, so as to get over the troops and to land beyond them. At that very moment a group of persons, who had been hidden from my view by the cuirassiers, scattered before me in every direction. I tried to do the impossible, risking the life of my passenger to prolong my flight, and to get beyond the last persons of the group. I was about to come to land, when the apparatus, which had been raised almost vertically, dropped heavily to the ground. I got out from under the machine, with my passenger, believing that I had avoided any accident. It was only then that I learned the terrible misfortune."

His aircraft had descended on a group containing the French Prime Minister Ernest Monis and his son, Henri Berteaux, the French Minister for War, the oil tycoon Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe and Louis Blériot. Berteaux was fatally injured, and Mounis, his son and Deutsch de la Meurthe were injured, Mounis severely. After this incident, which had caused a panic in the crowd leading to a number of injuries, the organisers considered cancelling the race, and no more competitors took off that day. However, the view of M. Mounis was that the race should proceed, and the remaining competitors could start the following day.

Of the fliers who had left Issy on the Sunday only Roland Garros succeeded in reachng Angoulême that day. Andre Beaumont landed at Loches to change the spark plugs of his engine, and crashed on takeoff, damaging his machine: Le Lasseur de Ranssay stopped at Cosne (180 kiloms.) due to fog, M. Gibert, again on a Bleriot-Gnome. He got as far as Pont Levoy only, some 220 kiloms. out.forced to alight by aviolent wind. Having then heard of the catastrophe at Issy, he "Owing to the slackness of the race at Angouleme, the people who had paid their money to witness the end of this first stage of the event were inclined to create trouble, clamouring for the return of their entrance fees, but by judicious handling no really serious trouble ultimately arose."

On the Monday the only competitors to leave Issy were Vedrines and Frey, the reminder of the competitors withdrawing from the race.Vedrines took off at 4.11 a.m, reaching Angoulême in 3 hrs. 43 mins. For the moment the time with which he will be debited is 40. 24m. 7s., which includes 30 mins. penalisation

Gibert re-started from Pont Levoy 4.10 on Monday morning, but had to return to the aerodrome because of dense fog: re-starting at 6.20, he alighted at Brizay at 7 a.m., having lost his way, leaving there again at 9 o'clock to arrive ultimately at Angouleme at lO.55.

On the Friday Vedrines took off from Burgos at 5.20 a.m. safely crossed the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains, and arrived in Madrid at 8.6 a.m. victory was his, he having landed without further incident at King Alfonso awarded him the Cross of the Order of Alfonso XII.

Table of competitors[edit]


Pilot Aircraft Notes
Jules Védrines Morane
A. Frey Morane After faile start on Sunday startd on Monday, but came down at Etampes and damaged his aircraft on attempting to take off again
C.T.Weymann Nieuport Did not start.
Chevalier Nieuport Did not start.
P. Divetain Goupy No.2 Did not start.
Ladougne Goupy No.2 Did not start.
Prince de Nissole Tellier Did not start.
Mamet(R.E.P). REP Did not start.
Amerigo REP Did not start.
Pierre Barillon Barillon III Did not start.
Le Lasseur de Ranssay Bleriot XI
Bobba Goupy Did not start.
Andre Beaumont Bleriot XI landed at Loches 180 km from Issy to change the [spark plugs]] of his engine, and crashed on takeoff, damaging his machine.
Roland Garros Bleriot XI
Gilbert Bleriot XI
Emile Train Train Did not start.
L. Gamier Morane Did not start.
Verrept Morane Did not compete, his aircraft being flown by Védrines.
Lieut. Menard
Capt. Eteve
M. Dewe1
Henri Farman Did not start.
F. Barra Henri Farman Did not start.
Lieut. Tretarre (Breguet) Did not start.


  1. ^ A Paris to Madrid Aeroplane Race Flight 1 April 1911
  2. ^ http://[ The Paris-Madrid Race]Flight 6 May 1911
  3. ^ Paris Madrid RaceFlight 27 May 1911
  4. ^