Film: 9308

Aviation | 1970 | Sound | Colour


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A celebration of the 50th King's Cup Air Race and its pioneering spirit.
A biplane trailing smoke performs stunts. Credit title appears over shot. Plane flies upside down. Air crew push planes outside hangar. They will compete for the King's Cup. Title card from silent film - 'The Air Race For King's Cup F.L. Barnard in D.H. 4.A. Flying At 127 Mph For 6 Hours 31 Min, Wins Thrilling Race Round Britain'. Footage of race. Barnard is given a giant horse shoe before he takes off. A bookie is taking a lot of bets. Lady Anne Saville - finished sixth - standing by her plane. Barnard is presented with his cup. Onlookers wave their caps. Mechanics at work on a modern biplane racer. They are preparing it for the 50th King's Cup race in 1972, at Booker. The plane is a pre-war German trainer. Modern planes will be racing with preserved models so a man assesses each one to work out a handicap system. One contender is interviewed. He owns a Tiger Moth and is trying to get as many allowances as possible. The prize money is only £400. A new engine can also cost £800. The official tries to asses a Russian Yak trainer, the only one this side of the Iron curtain. The official will actually go up in the plane to test it. Good shots of the Yak starting up and taking off. Competitors and officials talk about the race and their handicaps. Two officials in a Marquee describe the rules and route of the race. Their talk is interrupted by shots of the race in the twenties and thirties. The competitors listen to their instructions. The Yak has suffered a late malfunction, the owner is working in the hangar under electric light. The officials are still considering its handicap. Some smaller, rare aircraft will fly later but not race. People are starting to arrive and look at all the aircraft. A Spitfire on the ground being started and taxied. Various planes are being pushed into position. The Tiger Moth is having a lot of trouble getting started. Crowds of spectators are arriving and taking their places. A brass band begins to play and continues throughout. At last the Tiger Moth is started. There is controlled chaos as the planes and crowds assemble. A Tiger Moth is fuelled. A Wessex helicopter lands. Prince Philip is sitting next to the pilot. He walks to the start with the officials. Prince Philips lowers the first flag and the slower planes take off, according to handicap. The planes begin to take off in numbers. Airborne view of a plane taking off. The slower planes take off and we see the course from the air. A plane flies over a road. Close-up of an air speed indicator. The faster planes can now take off. The Yak takes off last of all.

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