Cleveland National Air Races: Speedway of the Skies is Opens September 14, 2023 at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum
Throughout its history, air racing has been a proving ground for technological innovation. During the early 20th Century, few people were afforded the opportunity to fly, and an air of mystery and excitement surrounded the evolving industry. Not only were aircraft objects of wonder, but the brave men and women who flew them became national heroes.
The most famous of the events were the National Air Races, held frequently in Cleveland from 1929 to 1949. These contests pitted pilot against pilot in pylon races such as the Thompson Trophy and cross-country distance events like the Bendix Trophy. The updated Crawford Air Racing Gallery is populated with aircraft, artifacts, and memorabilia from aviation’s “Golden Age”- 1920- 1950. The new environment seeks to replicate the excitement and drama that was the lifeblood of the National Air Races. Along with some of the best of examples of planes that broke records and won trophies, the gallery includes rare films of races and racers, interactives that make you part of the action and less-known stories of women pilots who changed the face of aviation. And on the walls, the largest collection in the world of Charles Hubbell’s spectacular air-race paintings.