Aviation History – August 28, 1909. In this summer of 1909, will be held on the occasion of the Grande Semaine de l’aviation de Bétheny, of which the champagne producers are at the origin, having financed and organized this event, the endowment of which amounts to at 200,000 francs in prize money, the first edition of the Gordon-Bennett Cup. The latter holds its winner this Saturday, August 28, 1909: pilot Glenn Curtiss being declared the winner.
The Gordon-Bennett Cup is a race: the contenders for the title must complete two laps of the track as quickly as possible, a course that represents twenty kilometers. An exercise that will smile on the aviator Glenn Curtiss who will be the quickest to cover the route, thus winning a silver trophy worth 12,500 francs in addition to a sum of money amounting to 2,000 frank.
His time being fifteen minutes and fifty seconds, he took first place in the ranking, having managed to crush the competition of which the Frenchman Louis Blériot was the fiercest representative.
It was with his “Reims Racer” that he achieved this great feat, namely a Curtiss-Herring n°1 device, with a V8 engine capable of developing 60 horsepower.