88 Years Ago In Aviation Week: National Air Races

Just weeks before the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression, the aviation world’s eyes were on the 1929 National Air Races, held in Cleveland from August 24 to September 2. 

The event, featured on our cover for three consecutive weeks, consisted of cross-country air races to Ohio and dozens on on-site “lap” races for various classes of airplanes and engines. Amelia Earhart placed third in a  “women only” race from Santa Monica, California to Cleveland, but was disqualified in a subsequent race “for having crowded another entrant on a turn.”

The show also featured an appearance by the U.S. Navy’s “Los Angeles” dirigible, which drew a crowd of nearly 100,000 to the Cleveland airport. The air races were suspended in 1950 after a crash but resurrected in 1964 in Reno, Nevada.

Read Aviation Week’s coverage of the 1929 air races at: archive.aviationweek.com

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