Officially called the Coupe d’Aviation Maritime Jacques Schneider, the Schneider Trophy race was held eleven times between 1913 and 1931. The Schneider Trophy was very significant in advancing airplane design, particularly in the fields of aerodynamics and engine design, and would show its results in some of the best fighters of World War II.
The iconic streamlined shape and the low drag, liquid-cooled engine pioneered by Schneider Trophy designs began to really take shape after 1923 with the American Curtis CR-3 and informed the design of the the British Supermarine Spitfire, the American P-51 Mustang, and the Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore fighters during WW2.
1923 Schneider Trophy winner, American Curtis CR-3.
1926 Schneider Trophy winner, American Curtis CR-3
1926 Schneider Trophy winner, Italian Macchi M39.
1927 Schneider Trophy winner, British Supermarine S5.
1929 Schneider Trophy winner, British Supermarine S6.
1931 Schneider Trophy winner, British Supermarine S6B.
Other notable Seaplanes were the Italian Macchi MC72, which in 1933 and 1934 set a world record speed for propeller-driven Seaplanes of 709 km/h (440 mph) which still stands to this day.
The German Dornier Seaplane, for its unusual design.
The British 1929 Gloster VI Seaplane, known as the Golden Arrow, partly in reference to its colour. Considered to be the fastest planes, unfortunately the plane was the withdrawn from competition in the 1929 Schneider Trophy due to a fuel supply problem.
Recently a group of designers inspired by racing seaplanes have published a book and created a Blog called Speed Birds celebrating those designs.
Below are some images from the Book and Blog.