Air League Challenge Cup - 1922

  • -Air League Challenge Cup 1922

     August Bank Holiday Monday

    A start was then made for the Relay Race for the Air League Challenge Cup between teams from R.A.F., Kenley, and R.A.F., Uxbridge (the former being the holders of the Cup). 

    The teams were made up as follows:—




    Uxbridge :


    Flight-Lieut. F. L. Luxmoore (S.E.5a),  Flight-Lieut. J. M. Robb (S.E.5a), and Flight-Lieut. R. W. Chappell (Avro).

    Sqdn.-Ldr. F. L. Robinson (S.E.5a),  Flying Officer F. G. Gibbons (Avro) and  Flight-Lieut. W. H. Longton (S.E.5a).

     However, the race was never completed - "Owing to the crash of an Avro the relay race between these two teams could not be flown, and the Cup remains for the time being with the present holders (Kenley)."

    Story of the Race:

    The two respective S.E.5a's started off first, Longton getting a little way ahead of Robb, but at the end of the first lap of 8 miles the latter made a splendid landing close behind his team's Avro, which got away with little delay ; the other Avro (Kenley) failed to get started. As Chappell approached the enclosure, however, his engine spluttered and then gave out, and matters looked very black, but with great presence of mind the pilot steered his 'bus towards the machine park alongside Plough Lane, and managed to land on the other side of the fence without hurt to the spectators or himself.

    This little incident caused a postponement of the Relay Race, but two of the S.E.5a's had a friendly two-lap race, in which Uxbridge (Longton ?) romped home well ahead.

  • -The Aviators

    The Aviators

  • Chappell, Roy Williamson

     Roy Williamson Chappell

      in 1916, as a 2nd Lieut., R.F.C.

    b. 31 Dec 1896 in Croydon

    RFC in WWI; Mentioned in Despatches in 1917, wounded in January 1918, then the Military Cross in June; "Temp. Capt. ROY WILLIAMSON CHAPPELL, R.F.C.—For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He showed the greatest skill and courage in leading patrols, with the result that during four days' operations the formations which he led destroyed nineteen enemy aeroplanes and drove down several others, the fate of which was not observed, owing to the intensity of the fighting. He has destroyed altogether five enemy machines, and has driven down seven others out of control."

    Having ended WWI with 18, er, 'Huns', he took part in the RAF Pageant of 1920 "the Kenley team (consisting of Flight-Lieut. T. E. Salt, A.F.C. (3 Huns), Avro ; Flying Officer F.L.Luxmore (4 Huns), Bristol; and Flight-Lieut. R. W. Chappell, M.C. (18 Huns), Snipe) proved an easy winner."


  • Gibbons, Frank George

     Flt-Lt Frank George Gibbons

      1918, when a 2nd Liet, aged 19

      1930, aged 31

    from Peterborough; WWI air ace (14 victories); killed in May 1932, flying into a tree during the Morning Post (Heston) air race.

    1932: "The tragic loss of Fit. Lt. Frank George Gibbons during the race organised by the Morning Post on Saturday, May 21, was one which came as a shock to his many friends. It would appear fairly certain that his death was due to his colliding with a tree while looking at his maps inside the cockpit, and was in no way caused by any defect in the "Spartan" three-seater he was flying at the time. He was a particularly likeable character, besides being an outstanding expert as a pilot.

    He was one of those people about whom one never heard any gossip, and his likeable character is shown by the fact that although he was the best of companions at the kind of party which usually finishes an air meeting, he was equally at home spending an afternoon playing with young children.

    He first joined the R.F.C. in June, 1917, as an air mechanic (cadet), and gained his commission in November of the same year. He was gazetted as a Fit. Lt. on June 1, 1926, and won the D.F.C. for services in the field.

    Not only was he a very fine pilot of land aircraft, but also of flying boats. On January 5, 1931, he went to Calshot, and from there he was posted to No. 204 Flying Boat Squadron at Mountbatten, Plymouth, of which he was a member at the time of his death.

    He was a brilliant navigator, and this form of race was one in which he was particularly interested. It is perhaps, therefore, some consolation to feel that if he himself could have had the choice, he would have undoubtedly have chosen to die when flying "flat-out" during such a race, in the manner he did.

    The funeral took place at Ipswich on Wednesday, May 25. He was 33 years of age and unmarried."


  • Longton, Walter Hunt

      Flt-Lt (later Sqn-Ldr) Walter Hunt Longton

      1916, aged 24


     'Scruffie' Longton, from Lancashire. 11 victories in WWI flying SE5s; DFC and bar.

    Well known pre-war motor-cycling, and post-war aeroplane racer; whilst practising for the Bournemouth Air Meeting in April 1927, his aeroplane was hit by "one or two charges of shot from a sporting gun", possibly in protest at flying races on a Good Friday. A reward of £25 was offered for the detection of the culprit.

    He was killed soon after - June 1927 - in a mid-air collision at the Bournemouth Whitsun Meeting, flying the prototype Bluebird.

    "Every aircraft constructor knew that 'Longton's opinion' was worth having on anything new." C G Grey


  • Luxmoore, Francis Logan

      Flt-Lt Francis Logan Luxmoore (or Luxmore)



     b. 4 Aug 1897

     2nd Lieut, RFC in WWI (Date of graduation 20 Aug 1916)

    d. 25 Jun 1985 - Maidenhead, Berks


  • Robb, James Milne

      Sqn-Ldr (later Wing-Cmdr) James Milne Robb GCB KBE DSO DFC AFC


    photo: 1916, when a Captain in the 4th Northumberland Fusiliers, aged 21


    photo: 1944, aged 49


    from Northumberland. RAF during WWI, then Iraq and Kurdistan. Chief Flying Instructor at RAF Wittering 1927-30.

    Later Air Chief Marshall Sir James; WWI ace (7 victories); helped form the Empire Air Training Scheme in 1939; advisor to Mountbatten, Eisenhower in WWII.

    d. 1968


  • Robinson, F L

      Sqn-Ldr F L Robinson DSO, MC, DFC



     C.O. (Wing-Cmdr) 10 Sqn RAF in 1928, RAF Duxford in 1929

    Air-Aide-de-Camp to the King (as Group-Captain) 1936


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