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James Valentine 2

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    Posted: 10 Jan 2012 at 09:16
LB & SCR = London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
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James Valentine, second lieutenant, on probation, 12 August 1914

In France flying a Bleriot (Flight 2 October 1914)

Second Lieutenant James Valentine (Special Reserve) to be a Flying Officer, 30 August 1914

The appointment of Second Lieutenant James Valentine to be Flying Officer, notified in LG 15 December, 1914, is antedated to 6 August, 1914

Special Reserve – The date of the appointment of Second Lieutenant James Valentine is 6 August, 1914, and not as stated in the LG of 11 August, 1914

Special Reserve – Second Lieutenant James Valentine to be Lieutenant, dated 11 November 1914

Special Reserve – Lieutenant James Valentine to be temporary Captain. Dated 1 October 1914 (LG 20 January 1915)

Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) James Valentine, Special Reserve, appointment as Equipment Officer is antedated to 16 January 1915 (LG 4.3.1915)

Equipment Officer – Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) James Valentine, Special Reserve, to be graded as a Flying Officer, 8 February, 1915

Appointment of Flight Commander Captain James Valentine, Special Reserve, from an Equipment Officer, and to retain his temporary rank whilst so employed, 15 October, 1915 (LG 15.11.1915)

Appointment of Flight Commander James Valentine, Special Reserve, from an Equipment Officer, 15 October, 1915 (substituted for the notification which appeared in the LG 15 November, 1915) (LG 17 November 1915)

Flight Commander Captain James Valentine RFC (SR) to be a Temporary Major (without the pay and allowances of that rank while specially employed, 20 October 1916) (LG 1 November 1916)

Squadron Commander – Captain (Temporary Major) James Valentine, Special Reserve, to be appointed from a Flight Commander, and to retain his temporary rank while specially employed, 25 May 1917 (LG Supplement 13 June 1917)

Cross of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (conferred by President of the French Republic) : Captain James Valentine, RFC SR (Flight 26 November 1915)

Mention in Dispatches : It was announced on 27 July (1915)…. Captain (Temporary Major) James Valentine RFC (SR)

Russian Honours for RFC ; It was announced on 14 January (1918)… Order of St George, 4th Class : Captain (Temporary Major) James Valentine, DSO, late RFC (SR)

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Although a railway engineering apprenticeship was still much sought after (AV Roe, WO Bentley & Henry Royce had all followed this path initially), Valentine’s interests soon extended to aviation. He joined the Aero Club in January, 1910, and was recorded as having donated to the Rolls Memorial Fund in November. 
On 24 December, 1910, Flight reported that Valentine had starting taxi-ing trials with the Empress-Macfie on the previous Monday. However, it seems that neither Macfie nor Valentine restricted themselves to the biplane as the week following it was reported that both had been taxi-ing the Star monoplane.

 

On 18 March Flight noted that, on the previous Wednesday, Macfie took the biplane up for a short flight and that Valentine made a circuit at 60 feet a little later. Both flew more circuits during the later afternoon of 1 April.

A week later it was reported that Valentine had flown as a passenger in the Valkyrie school machine, after which he made a solo flight. He climbed to 200 feet, made two circuits of Brooklands, and then made an engine-off gliding descent.

 

The Circuit of Europe started on 18 June 1911, at Vincennes (Paris). The course was :

Day of Flying

Start

Finish

Control

Prize(s)

18 June

Paris (Vincennes)

Liege (Ans)

Rhiems

£1600

20 June

Liege

Liege

Spa (Belle Fague, Malchamp)

£400

21 June

Liege

Utrecht (Soersterberg)

Verloo

£1200

£400 for first Dutchman

23 June

Utrecht

Brussels

Breda

£600

£1000 for Paris – Brussels

25 June

Brussels

Roubaix

 

£600

26 June

Roubaix

Calais

Dunkerque

£400

27 June

Calais

London

Dover, Shoreham

£2500 for Paris – London (Standard newspaper)

£400 – for daily stage (Shoreham)

29 June

London

Calais

Shoreham, Dover

£400

30 June

Calais

Paris (Vincennes)

Amiens

£800 – for Calais – Paris

£8000 – for entire circuit (Journal newspaper)

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Valentine made another flight in the Valkeyrie school machine later in April (Flight 22.4.1911 reported this as being on the previous Friday).

 

The Circuit of Europe was not the only competition he entered as Valentine put himself forward for the Gordon Bennett Aviation Race British national team and for the Second Daily Mail £10,000 prize, for the Circuit of Britain. The entry fee for the latter was £100, with £25 deposit and the balance to be paid by 1 July.

Valentine failed to gain a place in the Gordon Bennett team. The first two places went to Gustav Hamel and Alec Ogilvie and, after much deliberation, Graham Gilmour was chosen from the reserves for the third place. Valentine had to be content with being a reserve, though this was a major achievement for someone who had only just learned to fly.

 

Valentine flew as far as Sainte Menehould on the first day, flying on towards Rheims on 19 June. However, as a result of recurrent problems with his aircraft, he cut across the course to meet up with the other competitors at Brussels. Valentine took off with the other pilots towards Roubaix on 27 June. The next day as a rest day, and on 29 June the race continued on towards Calais. Valentine was forced down 15 km from take off, at Wambrether. He was not the only competitor to have problems and the cross-channel flight was delayed until Monday 2 July to allow the field to catch up with the leaders. Thus Valentine’s Deperdussin was one of eleven aircraft that took off from Calais to Dover, en route to Hendon. He recorded a flight time of 3 hours and 44 minutes, the fifth fastest of the day. The Calais-Dover flight took 43 minutes, Dover – Shoreham 1 hour 43 minutes, and Shoreham – Hendon 1 Hour and 18 minutes.

On 4 July Valentine took off from Hendon on the next stage to Shoreham but was forced to divert to Brooklands with a misfiring engine.

Although Valentine’s performance in the 1911 Circuit of Europe was creditable, particularly as most of his flying was at 4,000 feet, he was not in the same class as the winner Conneau (entered under the pseudonym Beaumont) or his great rival Vedrines.

 

“Last Wednesday” (Flight 15.7.1911) Valentine flew from Hendon to Brooklands, arriving at about 6:00 am. A flight was made on the following Monday at 500 feet and circling as far as Weybridge (Flight 22.7.1911), the weather was unsuitable on the following day although Valentine visited Brooklands again.

 

The next challenge was the Daily Mail sponsored Circuit of Britain air race, over a 1,010 mile course. Valentine entered his Deperdussin, along with JC Porte. There was a suggestion of some sponsorship for at least one of these entries as British Deperdussin was mentioned as considering the setting up of a flying school in response to the growing popularity of the type in Britain. Valentine’s Deperdussin carried the racing number ‘14’. The start was at Brooklands on 22 July, with Valentine making the finest take ff of the day, according to the Flight correspondent, “he rose sharply, and with a marvellous right turn he was chasing Audemars (Bleriot), and appeared to be overhauling him with great rapidity.”

 

Valentine landed at Kelham Bridge, near Newark, for hot tea and sandwiches. Supposedly this was a pre-arranged stop which does suggest that Valentine had great faith in his navigational skills.

 

On 24 July Valentine was fourth to take off on the leg to Edinburgh, at 4:00 am.

 

“Mr Valentine, although his engine had given him a good deal of trouble in the morning, was able to leave Carlisle at 3 o’clcok in the afternoon of Friday last week. He got off course through keeping too close to the coast, and came down at a village near Workington. He was able to start again, and eventually reached Widnes, where he stopped for the night. The following day he was delayed by a strong wind, but was able to get away from Widnes about twenty past eight, and reached Trafford Park just before nighfall.

He made a fresh start on Monday morning, and landed at Springhill, near Madeley, in Shropshire, after an hour and three-quarters’ flight, in order to obtain further petrol. On re-starting he only got to Bridgnorth.

Getting away in the evening he passed over Worcester just before eight, and reached Gloucester at twenty four minutes past eight. Although a strong wind was blowing on Tuesday morning, he was able to complete the stage to Bristol, where he decided to wait and see if the weather would moderate.

 

He was away again on Wednesday morning, and landed safely at Exeter at 8:24 am, and hoped to continue to Salisbury Plain and Brighton later in the day. He is not hurrying particularly now, as he has until Saturday to complete the course.” (Flight 5.8.1911).

“Mr Valentine arrived in the evening of Thursday flying in the Daily Mail contest, thus wining the 100 guineas cup given by the Brighton Hotels Association to the first English aviator arriving here. He left again at 9:23 am on Friday for the final stage to Brooklands” (Flight 12.8.1911)

 

On Friday “news that Mr Valentine had, during his circuit flight, broken down at Horsham, was received, Mr Valentine, soon after turning up himself on a car to fetch his mechanics and spares. Returning to his machine to replace wires that had snapped, he was eventually sighted flying at 1500 feet, travelling to Brooklands at a good speed, arriving at about 6:50 pm. Intense enthusiasm prevailed, and as first British aviator to finish the Circuit, Mr Valentine was chaired, photographed, cinematographed, and kept busy ‘autographing’ for some time, taking it all with the greatest good humour.”

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Valentine took off from Exeter at 7:26 am and, after making a stop at Bruton, in Somerset, arrived at Salisbury at 10:00 am. He remained there until 6:20 pm and then flew the 68 miles to Shoreham aerodrome in 1 hour and 17 minutes.

“Mr Valentine arrived in the evening of Thursday flying in the Daily Mail contest, thus wining the 100 guineas cup given by the Brighton Hotels Association to the first English aviator arriving here. He left again at 9:23 am on Friday for the final stage to Brooklands” (Flight 12.8.1911)

On Friday “news that Mr Valentine had, during his circuit flight, broken down at Horsham (actually, he landed at Warnham, a couple of miles past Hosrham and broke a rigging wire on landing), was received, Mr Valentine, soon after turning up himself on a car to fetch his mechanics and spares. Returning to his machine to replace wires that had snapped, he was eventually sighted flying at 1500 feet, travelling to Brooklands at a good speed, arriving at about 6:50 pm. Intense enthusiasm prevailed, and as first British aviator to finish the Circuit, Mr Valentine was chaired, photographed, cinematographed, and kept busy ‘autographing’ for some time, taking it all with the greatest good humour.”

This put Valentine in third place and secured him the 50 guinea Perrier Table water Prize as the first British competitor to complete the course. Also, he won the £100 Gold Cup for the first Englishman to arrive at Shoreham Aerodrome.  The only other finisher, and the first on an all-British aeroplane, was Cody who landed at Brooklands on Saturday.

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The landing field was actually at Arena Park, Whipton, Valentine had been much delayed by wind on some previous stages, and had also made a forced landing, just after take-off in Bristol, with a broken valve-rod gear. On his flight to Exeter, he followed the Great Western railway line to St David's Station and turned east towards Whipton before landing at 8.30am. The Mayor, Sheriff and Town Clerk welcomed him, and took him to breakfast at the New London Inn. Valentine took off from Exeter at 7:26 am and, after making a stop at Bruton, in Somerset, arrived at Salisbury at 10:00 am. He remained there until 6:20 pm and then flew the 68 miles to Shoreham aerodrome in 1 hour and 17 minutes.

 

This put Valentine in third place and secured him the 50 guinea Perrier Table water Prize as the first British competitor to complete the course. Also, he won the £100 Gold Cup for the first Englishman to arrive at Shoreham Aerodrome.  The only other finisher, and the first on an all-British aeroplane, was Cody who landed at Brooklands on Saturday.

 

Controls

Date

Resting Time

Nett Flying Time

Section 1

 

Hours-mins-secs

Hours-mins-secs

Brooklands – Hendon

22.7.1911

 

0-22-41

Section 2

 

 

 

Hendon – Harrogate

24.7.1911

1-8-49

3-39-28

Harrogate – Newcastle

24.7.1911

4-2-36

1-22-24

Newcastle - Edinburgh

24.7.1911

6-48-45

2-2-27

Total

 

12-0-0

7-4-19

Section 3

 

 

 

Edinburgh – Stirling

25.7.1911

8-32-48

0-38-48

Stirling – Glasgow

25.7.1911

0-56-12

11-1-5

Glasgow – Carlisle

26.7.1911

15-38-55

4-17-40

Carlisle – Manchester

28.7.1911

38-52-20

37-43-59

Manchester – Bristol

31.7.1911

32-42-1

23-55-59

Total

 

96-42-16

77-37-31

Section 4

 

 

 

Bristol – Exeter

2.8.1911

24-4-31

2-50-51

Exeter – Salisbury

3.8.1911

23-4-0

3-31-29

Salisbury - Brighton

3.8.1911

7-20-55

1-8-2

Total

 

54-29-26

7-30-22

Section 5

 

 

 

Brighton - Brooklands

4.8.1911

13-57-3

9-25-15

 

Valentine shared the Sir George White (Chairman of the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company) £250 prize and Bristish petroleum Company Ltd Shell Motor Spirit £131 5 shillings prize with Vedrines and Cody. In addition he won the Briighton Hotels association One Hundred Guineas Gold Cup and the £50 Tea Service from the Harrogate Chamber of Trade. Valentine’s achievements in the two Circuits made him the most significant British pilot of 1911.

 

On Thursday morning”, reported Flight on 12 August, “Mr Valentine arrived at Salisbury Plain on his Deperdussin about 11 o’clock in very rough weather, and Mr Pizey, of the Bristol Flying School, had the machine put in to one of his hangars until Mr Valentine was ready to continue later on in the day. He left Brighton at 6:20 pm, when a strong wind was blowing.”

 

In August Valentine flew his Deperdussin from Brooklands to Ventnor, Isle of Wight, to take part in the meeting there. He arrived on the Tuesday morning (Flight 19.8.1911). The meeting was regarded as a fiasco, as most of the machines failed to deliver demonstration flights. The exception was Valentine, who made a series of flights on 17 August. These were from Dean Farm, on the Whitwell Road, over the Downs and circling the town. The return flight to Brooklands, on Monday morning, was reported in Flight on 26 August, noting that the Deperdussin had “completely beat the telegraph, a message saying he had left the Isle of Wight not arriving at Brighton until after he had passed along the front (, circled the Palace Pier) and returned to the aerodrome.”

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Although he was not eligible for a share of the £2,500 prize money put up for the Circuit of Europe by Standard Newspapers Ltd., Valentine did receive £20 16s 8d as his share of the Brighton to Shoreham aerodrome £400 prize.

 

Valentine continued to fly his Deperdussin also, often from Shoreham. “On Wednesday afternoon he carried out some fine evolutions before proceeding to Preston Park, where he put up a splendid exhibition before a large gathering at the Motor Gymkhana held by the Car Section of the Sussex Motor Yacht Club. On returning to the Shoreham Aerodrome he was warmly received by a considerable number of enthusiastic spectators.

 

On Thursday afternoon Valentine again had his Deperdussin out, this time taking his airing between the piers at Brighton, where the crowds on the front enjoyed a splendid demonstration. At times he rose to a good height, and swooped down till his machine almost touched the water. Those who witnessed his return to the aerodrome will long remember the sight; flying low across the bridges, so that all might have a close view, he came to earth in splendid style at a speed of about 70 miles per hour.” (Flight 16.9.1911)

 

An Aero Club was formed at Dover in 1911 and a flying ground was established on Whitfield Hill, about three miles outside the town, with plans to expand it further. Valentine was one of the pilots engaged to give demonstration flights at the inaugural meeting on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st of September. The weather was very bad that week, preventing Horatio Barber from appearing with one of his Valkyries and also causing Valentine problems.

 

“On Tuesday Mr Valentine paid us a surprise visit (at Shoreham)about 5 o’clock, intending to have a fly to Dover, but his machine was not quite ready. An hour later it was brought out, although the wind was blowing a good 20 miles, and darkness had begun to set in. Not wishing to disappoint those waiting for him at Dover, he started off at 6:10 with a very fine ascent, and attaining an altitude of about 1,500 feet, he headed for Dover. Finding the wind a little tricky, and darkness coming on more rapidly than he had anticipated, he decided to return, regaining the aerodrome with a splendid vol plane, landing without a hitch at 6.25. (Flight 23.9.1911)

 

Valentine did manage to get to Dover aerodrome on Thursday, 21 September, to give a display. He flew towards Deal, and then turned towards Dover. A strong westerly wind allowed him to cover the 80 miles in 70 minutes. Landing safely, he delivered a letter from the Chief Constable of Brighton to the Chief Constable of Dover. High winds prevented any further flying until after 5:00 pm, when Valentine took off. Flight noted, “his racing Deperdussin monoplane was hardly suitable for anything beyond demonstrations of high-class speed flying and landing” (Flight 30.9.1911). Though he did manage to climb to 1,000 feet, possibly seeking calmer air.

 

The Deperdussin was flown from Dover to Eastchurch on Friday, 22 September, arriving at 9:30 am. After a short stay to refuel and replenish his oil, Valentine then took off to resume his fifty mile flight to Burnham-on-Crouch where the British Motor Boat Club was holding its Regatta. While at Burnham Valentine took the opportunity to steer Mawdsley Brooke’s Babs II boat in the final race of the day. 

 

“On Tuesday afternoon Mr Valentine paid us a flying visit (at Eastchurch), and although there was an extremely disagreeable wing he went for a short flight on his Deperdussin monoplane. He was barely on terra firma again when a rain storm broke upon us.” (Flight, 4.11.1911)

 

“On Tuesday afternoon Mr Valentine paid us a flying visit (at Eastchurch), and although there was an extremely disagreeable wing he went for a short flight on his Deperdussin monoplane. He was barely on terra firma again when a rain storm broke upon us.” (Flight, 4.11.1911)

“Wednesday last week was a perfect flying day( at Eastchurch) in every respect, and several machines were out for practice. Valentine was the first to start, making a run out to Sheerness and back on his Deperdussin monoplane in the morning.” (Flight 11.11.1911). In the afternoon Frank McClean took up several passengers in his Short twin-engined biplane, and decided to make a final flight to Sheerness. Valentine took off shortly afterwards “both machines appearing over Sheerness together. When over the harbour, Valentine made an impressive vol plane from a considerable altitude, descending so close to the water alongside one of the huge warships that his wheels touched the surface and caused ripples which could be plainly seen by McClean and Fowler, who were at that time overhead in the Short twin-engine machine. After giving the inhabitants of Sheerness a splendid exhibition of flying, both machines returned to the aerodrome, alighting as it was growing dusk.” (Flight 11.11.1911) 

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British & Colonial took the opportunity to base aircraft on Salisbury Plain in November in the hope of engaging the interest of the Air Battalion of the Royal Engineers and, perhaps, generating some orders. Valentine was engaged as one of a number of pilots engaged to demonstrate the aircraft and give passenger flights. Not surprisingly, the weather was often not ideal for flying. “Outdoor work was not attempted on Saturday morning, but towards evening Prier ascended on the new monoplane, having Mr Valentine as a passenger, and made two circuits. The wind was blowing ‘big guns’ the whole while, but Mr Valentine, upon landing, declared that the machine had been flying steadily as if in a dead calm.” On Sunday “in the afternoon Mr Valentine was out on the monoplane, flying over Amesbury at a good height, and landing after half an hour.” Valentine then joined Farnell Thurston as official observers for Lieutenant Bowers’ RAeC certificate test. On Monday Valentine “was up on the new Bristol monoplane, having Lieutenant Reynolds, Royal Engineers, as a passenger. Both expressed their delight at the stability of the machine and with the efficiency of construction of its landing chassis, as evidenced by the lightness with which it came to earth. Prier then took a new two-seater monoplane for her maiden trip, the machine having been assembled on the Plain. He found her in splendid order, showing an even better turn of speed than her prototype. The machine was then taken in hand by Mr Valentine, who again had Lieutenant Reynolds as passenger. They made wide circuits at about 2,000 feet, remaining aloft for half an hour. A fine spectacle was then afforded by Jullerot, Busteed and Pixton on biplanes, with Mr Valentine and Prier on monoplanes, all taking the air at the same time.” (Flight 2.12.1911). Later in the afternoon Valentine took Jullerot, and then his mechanic, on flights in the new monoplane.  

On Tuesday Valentine took up Lieutenant Williamson in the Military monoplane for a height test, and then made a sol demonstration flight (Flight 9.12.1911).

On Wednesday, Valentine took the tests for the Royal Aero Club’s Superior Brevet on the Bristol Monoplane. This was the second brevet to be tested for, Cody having gained the first, and also a promotional opportunity for British & Colonial. “It was really the public debut of the new Bristol monoplane, which makes the performance all the more interesting. Salisbury Plain was left at 11:45 am, and the outward journey occupied 45 minutes, while the return trip took 9 minutes longer. The aviator explained that he lost time coming back, by leaving his course in order to wave to Captain Fulton, who was passing. In the subsequent altitude and gliding tests, he went up to a height of 2,000 feet, and, gliding down, alighted exactly on the designated spot.” (Flight 2.12.1911). Valentine then took his dog for a flight with Jullerot in a Bristol biplane, and then made a climbing test in one of the Bristol monoplanes. (Flight 9.12.1911)

On Sunday Valentine took up Lieutenant Borton in the ‘Bristol military machine’ to circle Stonehenge for almost half an hour (Flight 9.12.1911).

 

As first of the production Bristol-Priers were completed in time for the Paris Salon de l’Aeronautique in December, one aircraft was sent to Paris for exhibition, where it was the only British entrant, and one of only three that was not French. Another aircraft was dispatched to Spain for demonstration to the Spanish Army, and a third went to Issy-les-Moulineaux on 22 December. In the latter Valentine became the first man to fly a heavier-than-air aeroplane over central Paris and the first to fly one around the Eiffel Tower. He then crossed the Seine and the Place de la Concorde to Notre Dame. After circling the dome, he continued on to the aerodrome at Vincennes, and then flew back to Issy. (Thursday last week, Flight 23.12.1911). This publicity stunt was followed by a number of demonstration flights. These promoted the Bristol significantly, and increased visitors to the company stand at the Salon. President Fallieres visited and was presented with a vellum bound album of photographs of the British and Colonial factory and flying school.

 

On 2 January, 1912, Valentine made a spectacular arrival at St Cyr, with a passenger, in appalling weather and just as dusk was falling. A few days later he was back at the Bristol School and carrying the Italian Captain Agostini in the Bristol-Prier when he discovered troops on his intended landing ground.   The Bristol suffered minor damage as Valentine was forced to take avoiding action, but this merely served to impress Agostini as to the strength of construction of the aircraft and his recommendation led to an order of two for the Italian Army. The Bristol-Prier was advertised for sale at 23,750 Francs (c£950). Soon afterwards, Valentine demonstrated that the Bristol had not been damaged by taking his mechanic for a flight and then flying a demonstration solo.

 

On Saturday afternoon, Valentine flew along the Swale, via Queenborough to Sheerness harbour, where he circled HMS Africa and HMS Berwick. He then headed towards Eastchurch, climbing to 3,000 feet before gliding down to land.  At Eastchurch, “just as it was growing dusk, Valentine appeared over the grounds on the Deperdussin monoplane, and after making one or two circles , alighted. After filling up with petrol he was off again intending to get to Brooklands, in which direction he disappeared at a great altitude. He was back again some fifteen minutes later, evidently realising that he could not accomplish the journey before dark.” (Flight 20.1.1912). 

 

“On Sunday, Valentine arrived at Eastchurch on a Deperdussin monoplane about 4:00 pm, and after a short stay motored back to town.” (Flight 3.2.1912)

 

Cody visited Brooklands on Monday and gave rides to pilots such as Valentine, Sopwith and Gilmour (Flight 3.2.1912).

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On 6 April, 1912, Flight confirmed valentine’s official entry as a competitor for British Empire Michelin Cups 1 & 2. He was 121st of 132 entrants.

 

On Easter Monday, 1912, at Brooklands Valentine entered a 50 hp Gnome Bristol monoplane in the 5:30 pm ten miles cross country handicap race.

 

On Sunday (reported Flight, 13.4.1912) Pixton and Valentine both made flights on their Bristol monoplanes,  travelling beyond the confines of the aerodrome , and climbing to a good height before gliding down in a spiral.

In April, 1912, Valentine was appointed to the Royal Aero Club sub-committee for flying ground inspections.

“On Thursday afternoon Valentine made a trip on his two-seater Bristol monoplane in a strong wind, no one else venturing out. Friday was a much better day and a number of machines were in evidence. … Sopwith was also out carrying passengers, amongst them Mrs Locke King and Valentine. … During the afternoon Valentine took Sopwith over to Hendon on the Bristol monoplane. Sopwith then flew his 70 hp Bleriot back to Brooklands with Hucks as a passenger. Valentine also started on the Bristol, but when over Hounslow Heath felt unwell, so landed near the barracks where he left his machine under a police guard for the night. Next morning he flew back to Brooklands.”  (Flight 20.4.1912)

 

“Valentine, on his 50 hp Bristol two-seater monoplane, arrived (at Hendon) during the morning at half-past eleven, bringing with him Mr Ronald Chateris as passenger.” (Flight 27.4.1912)

 

“Valentine had started off in his Bristol monoplane, and was circling overhead at about 1,000 feet. …The cross-country event, twice over the course from the aerodrome to harrow spire and back, commenced at five o’clock. First away was Lewis Turner on the Farman…. Six minutes and 45 seconds behind him started Ewen on his Caudron, being given only 2 minutes 30 seconds by Hucks on the Gnome-Bleriot. Valentine on the Bristol monoplane started two minutes later, with Hamel just under a minute behind him. “ Turner retired early with engine trouble. “Hucks, Valentine and Hamel rounded the home mark shortly afterwards and disappeared again, flying strongly. Returning for the second time, Hucks was the first to come in sight, flying well at a good thousand feet. He planed down and crossed the line amid cheers. Valentine then appeared.” For the speed contest “ Hucks, Valentine and Hamel were the contestants, Hamel being scratch, and giving 37 seconds to Valentine and 65 seconds to Hucks. Of the starts, Valentine’s was by far the neatest, incidentally bringing out a hitherto unrecognized quality in the Bristol monoplance. He had no mechanics to hold him back, he simply threw his cloche forward, raising the tail, so that his front skids rested on the earth to effectively brake the machine. Receiving the signal to start, he merely lowered the tail by a movement of the elevator, and sped off. Both Hucks and Valentine flew fairly high. … (Hamel’s) engine was not pulling as well as it might, and despite all his clever handling, he could not reduce the distance that separated him from valentine. The latter slowly, but surely, gained on Hucks and, speeding up the straight in finishing the last circuit, drew level and passed him scarcely 300 yards from the finishing line. It was cleverly done on Valentine’s part, but it cost him the race, for he was disqualified for passing Hucks on the inside. Hucks crossed the line 5 seconds after Valentine, with Hamel 11 seconds behind.” (Flight 27.4.1912)  Valentine won the second prize of 10 sovereigns in the Cross –Country Handicap, and missed out on 25 sovereigns in the Speed handicap due to the disqualification.

 

Valentine was back at Hendon the following week to take part in the Cross-Country Handicap in the Bristol monoplane with racing number ‘14’.

 

“Hamel was at scratch, and allowed Hucks twenty six seconds and Valentine thirteen seconds, but by the time the machines were clear of the aerodrome, Hamel had already obtained the lead. All the machines were started at right angles to the direction to be taken, and so had to a make a left turn when in the air. Both Hucks and Valentine took this turn arther widely, but Hamel scored heavily by cutting round sharply as soon as his machinme was off the ground. Hamel was the first to complete the ten miles, and his time was 11 minutes and 39 seconds, Valentine being second in 12 minutes and 5 ½ seconds, and Hucks third” (Flight 4.5.1912) in just over 12 minutes and 28 seconds.”

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 13:03

“A wireless telegraphy station has just been fitted up at Hendon by Messers. AW Gamage Ltd. A transmitter was fitted on Mr Valentine’s monoplane, while a receiving station has been installed at that flyer’s hangar. We understand that Mr Valentine successfully transmitted some message while in flight on Sunday inst.” (Flight 4.5.1912)

 

 “Valentine flew over (to Brooklands) from Hendon on the Bristol monoplane, taking nearly an hour against the strong head wind.” (Flight 11.5.1912). He landed in the late afternoon.

 

On Friday, “Spencer, Valentine and Moorhouse were all out, Valentine flying round about 40 feet over the track, to time the machine over measured distances.” (Flight 11.5.1912).

 

“Some expectation was aroused by the announcement from the Judge’s box that Mr valentine and Mr Moorhouse had started from Brooklands and would take part in the speed handicap on their arrival. It was not until 6:25 pm, however, that Valentine arrived on the Bristol monoplane having covered the distance of 20 miles in 18 minutes. Mr Moorhouse did not start. Just before the start of the speed handicap, Mr Crashaw got away on his Bleriot monoplane for a cross-country flight, employing an automatic self-starter. The speed contest was to be held in two heats and a final of three laps each, Hamel (Bleriot) and Ewen (Caudron biplane) being in the first, and Hucks (Bleriot) and Valentine (Bristol) in the second. In the first heat Ewen kept ahead of Hamel until the last lap, when the latter passed him at the last pylon, and crossed the winning post nine seconds ahead of Ewen. ..  The second heat was a walkover for Valentine, as Hucks ‘fouled’ Pylon No 5 on the first lap and failed to return and pass the pylon properly.” (Flight 18.5.1912) In the final Hamel collided with a parked Nieuport on take-off, and the crowd rushed on to the course to see better. Just then Crawshaw arrived over Hendon, back from his cross-country race, and had problems identifying somewhere to land.  The race was then called off.

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