Records Racing and Rally Association

Ever since taking to the air, pilots have sought to compete and perfect their skills. Air racing and the setting of records came to the fore fromthe earliest of times, although it was not until the 1920s that it took on a formalised and more spectacular form.

In Britain, royal patronage for air racing came with the annual Kings Cup, first awarded by George V in 1922 and hotly contested to this day. In the 1980s the spirit of seaplane racing was rekindled with the rebirth of the famed Schneider Trophy. These two, together with a series of other prestigious events, go to make up the modern day handicap air racing season.

Races are held at venues mainly in UK, but also Alderney (in the Channel Isles), Menorca and France. The season culminates with the determination of the British Air Racing Champion and a European Air Racing Champion, the latter title devised in an effort to make the sport more Europe-wide. Generally, the races comprise four or five laps of a course of 25 miles centred on an airfield, with a staggered start on handicap, designed to produce a simultaneous finish. Spectators therefore are usually able to see both the start and the finish. Races are occasionally held from point to point and from country to country.

Racing pilots – men and women – come from all walks of life and localities. Recent examples battling for honours range from military pilots to airline captains, businessmen, writers, travel agents, policemen and many more. The aircraft that they fly are just as varied. In speed they range from 100mph to nearly 250mph encompassing trainers through to executive twins, single seat racers to classic tourers, and homebuilts to warbirds.

As well as administering handicap air racing, the RRRA also has delegated powers from the Royal Aero Club to assist pilots with recognition and ratification of air records throughout the world through the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Aviation speed records can be set from city to city or from country to country – and again, all types of aircraft can participate from microlights to airliners. 



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