The competition that tried to make flying safer

In the inter-war aviation industry’s efforts to improve the safety of commercial aeroplanes, a one-off contest in the USA sought to play its part — but it wasn’t without trouble and controversy

The development of commercial and private aviation in the 1920s and ’30s demonstrated remarkable progress in terms of using flight for civilian purposes and improving global communication. However, recurring accidents and subsequent press reports damaged public confidence in the safety of flying, and reduced demand for early passenger services such as those operated from Croydon to continental Europe.

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