To many individuals, airplane races and record breaking flights are merely a spectacular form of sporting competition. Aviation, because of its novelty and hazards, naturally attracts much publicity. Normally, the greatest credit for a startling achievement in flying falls upon the pilot, while contrarily, failures are inevitably blamed upon poor material. The vast amount of research, study and experiment which must be gone through and the innumerable problems of design which must be overcome to produce a record breaking airplane are unknown and unconsidered by the general public in giving its praise for victory or its censure for defeat. It is obvious that material is as important and deserving as personnel and that, if material fails, personnel also fails. Any school boy can name a few of our well known pilots while the cognomens of aircraft engineers are apparently a carefully guarded secret, little known even in aviation circles.
Airplane Racing and Record Chasing
By Lieutenant F. W. Wead, U. S. Navy