August 18, 1951: Bendix Aerospace Trophy

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

The 1951 Bendix Transcontinental Trophy Race was launched from the main ramp. This was the first all-jet bomber and fighter air race in aviation history. Three B-45s, three F-84s and two F-86s took off for a 1,900 mile nonstop flight to the finish line in Detroit, Michigan. Colonel Keith Compton won the trophy in an F-86 Sabrejet.

The Bendix Trophy is a U.S. aeronautical racing trophy. The transcontinental, point-to-point race, sponsored by industrialist Vincent Bendix founder of Bendix Corporation, began in 1931 as part of the National Air Races. Initial prize money for the winners was $15,000. The last Bendix Trophy Race was flown in 1962.  The trophy was brought back in 1998 by AlliedSignal, the then-owner of the Bendix brand name (which later merged with Honeywell), to "recognize contributions to aerospace safety by individuals or institutions through innovation in advanced safety equipment and equipment utilization."  The current awards of the Honeywell Bendix Trophy for Aviation Safety includes a scale reproduction of the original Bendix Trophy design and a citation.

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