For two quite separate reasons, the results of the Handicap Race (and therefore the Speed Race) were wrong!

#### Speed Race

- First Prize - £10,000 and the MacRobertson Trophy (which went to Scott and Campbell Black)
- Second - £1,500 (Turner and Pangborn in the Boeing 247)
- Third - £500 (Cathcart Jones and Waller)

- First Prize - £2,000 (Parmentier and Moll, DC-2)
- Second - £1,000 (Jimmy Melrose, Puss Moth)

^{1/3}

## 1 - They worked out the handicaps wrong

**This is really interesting, if you like numbers and stuff: **

When they worked out the handicap speeds for the aeroplanes, they got 3 of them wrong.

You see, the formula they used gives a 'handicap speed' based on the four parameters W, A, L and P.

In fact, Handicap Speed =140*(1-(0.2*L)/(W-L))*((P/A)^(1/3)), where

W is the weight of the aeroplane, in pounds;

A is the Wing Area, in sq ft;

L is the Payload, in pounds - each crew member was reckoned to be about 200lb, but some of the aeroplanes carried other passengers and/or freight, and

P is the rated Power of the engine(s) at sea level, in horsepower.

Now, because I don't have the original calculations (they are presumably somewhere in the Royal Aero Club's Archives, if they still exist), I don't know what the figures for the actual weight of each aircraft and its actual payload were on the day. But I do know the figures for P and A, because the figures for the engine h.p. and the wing area are freely available.

So I set up a spreadsheet to try different (but realistic) values of the weight and the payload, to see if I could derive the same result as they did in 1934.

1 - The Desoutter

The Desoutter has a maximum take-off weight of 1900lb, its engine is 120h.p., and it has a wing area of 183 sq. ft. Using a value of 470 lb for the payload (2 people, plus a bit), it has no problem coming in at the 'right' figure of 113 mph:

and neither does 2 - The Puss Moth

... and so on, through 3 - the Klemm

4 - The Miles Falcon:

5 - The Hawk:

and 6 - the Dragon Rapide (although the payload seems a bit high):

(Still with me?)

However, the chart for 7 - the Courier comes out funny:

This means...

There are no possible values for the weight of the aircraft, and the payload it carried, which would give us 140.53 m.p.h. as the Handicap Speed.

What can possibly have happened?

I think the answer is quite simple, actually - if you plug in 270h.p. as the power of the engine, hey presto:

Now, if you remember your Airspeed Courier facts, there were two versions. One (the version the Stodarts intended to fly, and registered for the race) had a 270hp Cheetah engine. The other (the version they actually flew) had a 240hp engine.

... their handicap speed should have been about 135mph, not 140mph.

Better check out the rest of them, I suppose:

8 - the Fox looks OK:

9 - The Comet is OK, too (that's a relief):

and so is 10 - the Fairey IIIF:

and even 11 - The Lambert Monocoupe squeezes in (wing area looks a bit suspect, but...)

but what have we here... 12 - the DC-2 is wrong, as well:

Working back from the result, they must have assumed the DC-2 would have a total of 1750 hp (which it certainly didn't):

... the DC-2 should have had a handicap speed of about 159mph, not 168mph.

Nearly there, thank goodness...

13 - the Vega looks fine:

but poor old 14 - the Airspeed Viceroy was hard done by, too:

They must have assumed it would have 712hp:

Oh well... it didn't finish anyway. :-)

All of which means that...

The Courier, instead of a handicap time of 87:36:59, should have had 91:14:52.

The DC-2 should have had 77:01:34 rather than 73:16:56

The Courier spent 100:24:06 hrs completing the race - 9:09:14 hrs more than its proper handicap time.

The DC-2 only took 83:09:24hrs - 5:52:28 hrs more than its real handicap time.

However, Jimmy Melrose (who got the second prize originally), took 120:16:02, which was 12:34:19 over his handicap time.

So, actually, after all that, if they'd done the arithmetic properly, the Stodarts should have had the runners-up prize, instead of Jimmy (despite what Kenneth said after the race about it being a 'pity to do him out of the second prize'!)

## 2 - It gets worse - they used the wrong speeds anyway

^{th}, 1934) noted that

*Alan Goodfellow, Clerk of the Course*

*The West Australian, 22 November*

*are:*

**totally unofficial results**- First Prize - £10,000 and the MacRobertson Trophy (Scott and Campbell Black)
- Second - £1,500 (Parmentier and Moll, DC-2)
- Third - £500 (Turner and Pangborn, Boeing 247)

- First Prize - £2,000 (David and Kenneth Stodart, Airspeed Courier)
- Second - £1,000 (Jimmy Melrose, Puss Moth)