Book article about 10th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett

From the Book: Die Gordon Bennett Ballon Rennen 
(The Gordon Bennett Races) by Ulrich Hohmann Sr

Start: Bruxelles (Solbosch), September 21st 1921

All Belgium celebrated the victory of Ernest Demuyter a year before. This small nation, badly struck by the past war, had gotten a hero, had to host the competition for the first time and considered themselves to be close to the final possession of the cup. Three times in a series a nation must win, up to then, nobody had managed this. But now, with a young but already experienced pilot, a new, much lighter balloon, the launch in the home-country, victory number two seemed to be quite close.

The Belgians had used the time since the last race. Demuyter had considered a lighter balloon to be necessary, so he would get one. 90 kilograms were saved by the constructors, and some pilots still today know the two balloonmeisters Felix van den Bemden and Schaut, who constructed and took care of new BELGICA.

Let’s remember: Already in 1910 and 1911 lighter balloons, used by the French, had been admired. The Gordon Bennett Races forced the further development of the ballooning material, quite similar to car manufacturers today, who gather experiences in famous races. Progress achieved by racing experience is much more welcome than progress achieved by war. Here we see the beginning of competitive sport, first by improvement of the equipment, later also the demands to the sportsman himself will play an important role. Some setbacks in service of the new equipment often create quiet joy among the fighters for the claim, that all of this is much too expensive and useless, but it does not change the fact itself.

Under these told circumstances rank 11 achieved by Demuyter was a giant disappointment. First when reasons for the bad result came out, the moods calmed down. What had happened? – Let’s report Demuyter by himself:

Report of Demuyter

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