On September 29, 1931, Flight Lieutenant George Stainforth flew a Supermarine S6.b to a new absolute world speed record of 407.5 mph (655.79 kph). Stainforth was award a trophy in the form of a miniature S6.b for his accomplishment.
In 1989 in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, USA, the American home of the London Bridge, the Desert Hawks RC Club presented a reenactment of the famous Schneider Cup races of the early part of the 20th Century. Radio Control enthusiasts from far and wide designed and built ¼ and 1/3 scale replicas of those famous racing seaplanes to compete in this unique event.
One of those competitors was Doug MacMillan of Canada. Doug designed, built and brought his own version of the Supermarine S6.b. At the conclusion of the event, at trophy presentation Doug unveiled a metal replica of a Supermarine S6.b and announced that this was the trophy awarded to Stainforth in 1931. Apparently this was the custom as we can see a picture of Flight Lieutenant D'Arcy Greig holding a trophy of the Supermarine S5 after setting a world speed record in 1928. Click here to see the photo
Twenty years have passed and this year, 2009, being the twentieth anniversary of the first Schneider Cup Reenactment, we wanted to contact and invite all of the competitors from the original series. When I contacted Doug, he asked if I would be interested in restoring the trophy. Of course I enthusiastically said YES and arrangements were made.
The Trophy arrived on August 20, 2009. Doug had packed it well in foam and it arrived as scheduled. As you can see, it needs a lot of TLC. Click on any picture to enlarge.
Because of its' historic importance I will very carefully restore this trophy. After all, this
wasn't a trophy for any old commercial plane or series of cheap flights, this was an iconic moment in aviation history. Any information about this trophy and the history behind it, like who made the trophy, what metal and any pictures of Stainforth with it etc. would be greatly appreciated. I would like to post any info or photos on this site and give credit to anyone for it. I will take pictures as we go along.
The mystery of what the trophy is made of has been solved. The entire trophy is made of copper and brass and plated in silver. The craftsmanship and the attention to scale and detail are incredible.
Let us begin...August 23, 2009
The prop is solid cast brass and is designed to rotate as a scale propeller would.
Fuselage/wing with propeller removed. We are not sure yet about the roundels. In that some people attempted to restore this trophy, we are trying to research the original as presented to Stainforth. Anyone out there that may have info or be able to point us in the right direction to gain the knowledge we need will be greatly appreciated.
This shows the detail in the nacelle area. All the panel lines and exhaust ports are authentically represented.
To the left a float has the rear bottom removed. You can see the bulkhead at the step and the bulges on both sides where the float was bent.
Float top and distortions where the float struts attached.
To the left, you can see the bottom of the left wing with the wrinkles in the skin. Both the left and right wings have serious damage to the wing skins, top and bottom. Some of the damage was from the fall and much was from the unskilled attempts to fix the trophy. We believe our only choice is to separate the top and bottom wing skins in order to reshape them properly. This may be very difficult because it appears that the wing was created by bonding the top and bottom skin into one piece and slid through a slot in the fuselage and then soldered in place.