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The Bremont DH-88 2016 Limited Edition
Monday, 7 November 2016 12:03:06 Europe/London
The Bremont 2016 Limited Edition celebrates the astonishing de Havilland DH-88 Comet, Grosvenor House, the aircraft that captured the world’s imagination with a phenomenal record-breaking flight in 1934. Fighting exhaustion and significant mechanical challenges, whilst barely stopping for over three days, two men in their pioneering British racing aircraft won the incredible air-race from England to Australia.
During the golden age of flight, the England to Australia record became the goal of many legendary aviators. The Smith brothers first completed the hazardous journey in 1919, taking 27 days and 20 hours. There would be many failures, but repeated attempts saw the time gradually reduced to just over seven days by 1934. The infamous MacRobertson Air Race aimed to, and succeeded in, shrinking that record further and in doing so, encourage the operation of a fast and safe commercial air route to Australia.
Constructed ensuring the durability and precision Bremont is renowned for, the timepieces also incorporate original spruce plywood from the undercarriage assembly of this winning aircraft. The aircraft’s story perfectly encapsulates the core values that inspire Bremont. A tremendous engineering achievement, the Comet completed an adventurous journey that secured its rightful place in aviation history. Through its own example of fine British craftsmanship, the Limited Edition Bremont DH-88, Bremont pays tribute to the Comet.
Excited voices and the roar of piston engines shattered the dawn at Mildenhall. Car headlights illuminated the darkness of the surrounding fields. On 20 October 1934, it seemed the world had descended upon this usually peaceful English airfield. An unprecedented crowd 60,000 strong came to witness the start of the MacRobertson Air Race. Even King George V and Queen Mary had visited to wish the participants good luck for their gruelling 11,300-mile journey.
Twenty aircraft waited to take off, with the greatest pilots of six nations ready in their cockpits, competing for fame, prestige and a £10,000 first prize. The participating types varied widely but one elegant design stood out. Great Britain’s hopes for victory relied on the de Havilland DH-88 Comet, purpose built purely for the race. At 06:30 the flag dropped and at 45-second intervals the aeroplanes launched. The race was on. As the crowds drifted away, Mildenhall became quiet once more and their focus turned towards the finish line.
Sponsored by Australian businessman Sir Macpherson Robertson, the Royal Aero Club was engaged to oversee race proceedings. With no limit on aircraft size or power, competitors could compete for the speed race or best handicap performance. Along the route were five compulsory control points with the finish line at Flemington Race Course, Melbourne, where the victorious winner would fly low-level between two pylons.
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