#FantasyFreeFlight: Winners! 1915 National Model Aeroplane Competition

Congratulations to the Green Club, or the Illinois Model Aero Club, for winning the 1915 National Model Aeroplane Competition.

“We have received notice from the Aero Club of America that we have been awarded the Villard trophy, which was to go to the model club having the highest average in the three contests of the National Model Aeroplane Competition.  This marks the end of a long season of hard work on that part of the members of the club, and especially on the part of Hittle, Pease, Cook, Nealy, Hitt, Hall, Schweitzer, Lucas and Lathrop, who represented us on the various teams in the different contests.  The cup is coming to Chicago, and we hope that through our future efforts it shall remain here.

The Villard Trophy in black and white, as it appeared in the July 5, 1915 issue of Aerial Age Weekly.
The Henry S. Villard Trophy was the prize for the winning club. (Photo credit: Phipps, Walter H., ed. “Model News Column: Big Prizes Offered for National Model Aeroplane Contest.” Aerial Age Weekly, July 5, 1915)

“The Illinois Model Club wants to thank Mr. Villard for offering the trophy and the Aero Club of America for organizing and carrying out the National Model Aeroplane Competition in which the cup and prize money were competed for.  We also wish to thank Mr. Stevens, who was judge in our contests, and Mr. Dickinson for providing a place where we might hold our hydro meets.” (Model News column of Aerial Age Weekly, edited by G.A. Cavanagh and Harry Schultz.  December 13, 1915.)

A grainy black and white photo of a group of boys posing with model airplanes while wearing 1910s swimming gear.
Picture: “The accompanying photograph shows a group of members of the Illinois Model Aero Club taken during the hydroaeroplane contest, the last contest of the National Model Aeroplane Competition held under the auspices of the Aero Club of America. At the right end of the picture Lindsay Hittle is shown holding his model which broke the world’s record for model hydroaeroplanes. Ellis Cook is standing toward the rear in the center. The model flown by Ward Pease is the second one for the left end. In view of accomplishments this club now holds an indisputable position of importance in the field of model aeroplane activity.” (Cavanagh, G.A. and Harry Schultz, eds. “Model News Column,” Aerial Age Weekly, November 15, 1915.)

How did your #FantasyFreeFlight club fare! – Let everyone know using the #FantasyFreeFlight hashtag.

Here’s the color coding for the other #FantasyFreeFlight clubs:

The Blue Club was really the Detroit Aero Research Club; the Gray Club the Aero Science Club of America; the Indigo Club the Texas Model Aero Club; the Orange Club the Summit (NJ) Model Aero Club; the Purple Club the Pacific Northwest Model Aero Club; the Red Club the Bay Ridge Model Aero Club; the Geen Club the Illinois Model Aero Club and the Yellow Club was really the Harlem Model Aero Club.IMAC made good on their promise to keep the Villard Trophy in Chicago – they won the competition in 1916 and again in 1919, therefore retiring the trophy to the club.

The exhibit has the trophy in front and the panel behind. A black and white photograph of Henry Villard in the cockpit of a plane at the age of 12 is also on exhibit.
The trophy is currently on exhibit at the National Model Aviation Museum along with an exhibit panel on Henry Villard’s life, courtesy of the San Diego Air and Space Museum and Allen Airways Flying Museum respectively.  Both will be on exhibit until September 2015.

link to main information page for #FantasyFreeFlight


For more information on the National Model Aviation Museum, including our location, hours and admission fees visit: www.modelaircraft.org/museum

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