That was Marshal of the Royal Air Force Baron Trenchard’s view of the inter-war Schneider Trophy contests — but, even so, he was key to making possible the RAF involvement that led to British success

Upon its establishment in October 1926, Sqn Ldr Leslie Slatter was posted to command the High Speed Flight. The unit was effectively an offshoot of the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, also at Felixstowe, as marine experience was considered essential. Its brief was wider than simply to win the 1927 contest and included research into various aspects of aerodynamics, engines and propellers as part of the testing of new highperformance seaplanes. That said, there was little doubt as to the main objective to be achieved. Marshal of the Royal Air Force Hugh Trenchard was initially unhappy at seeing the RAF get involved in what he considered a private race, although he equally appreciated the potential prestige of winning the contest, being convinced that only service discipline — and RAF discipline at that — could make this possible.

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