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The International Air Race was a proposed competition between various world powers that had developed some means of aeronautical engineering. It was proposed by the Union of Borealia as a way of showcasing the various forms of flying machines that had been developed thus far by various nations. By bringing these machines together, countries can learn from each other and mutually benefit their technology.
The contestants will start in the rural outskirts of Kristallstadt (OTL Salt Lake City) in eastern Borealia, and complete the race in the Reman city of Cahokie. There will be five-to-eight refueling stations evenly spread between these two cities where the planes will regroup and make any necessary adjustments. The plane that finishes the race in the shortest total amount of time wins first place, followed by second and third.
The Borealian government will be willing to pay up to the equivalent of 1.2 million Stavratons (the best international currency I know of) for first place, with proportional prizes for second and third.
A date for the competition will be announced when there are at least three nations interested.
Significance of Aeronautical Technology
The first official flight was accomplished in the Reman Empire in 1899 by two amateur engineers. Months later, a company in Pskov independently invented their own airplane as well, which was taken by the People's Entente after Pleskov was taken in 1904. The first company to make airplanes in Borealia first appeared in Pannenstiel in 1905 after copying the Reman design. Fairly quickly, several other nations desired to make their own airplane design as almost a symbol of development, even as far away as Lanka who bought a single plane from Poland in 1911, and Japan who bought panes from Borealia in 1912.
According to Borealia's proposal, the International Air Race will give a chance to all nations currently pioneering flight technology to improve on the designs of other nations.
feel free to add your nation below:
- Germany (Lordship of Neu Norderney, and Kingdom of Kuba)
Reme may have been the first in flight, but they have not developed much outside of the experiments of the Franqi brothers. Other nations that have worked hard on government-sponsored projects, like Emereldie and Japan, have only had a few years in flight to perfect their own aircraft. Borealia and Spain are the only nations with developing private companies to work on aeronautics, while New Nodreney is the only nation pioneering airships more than airplanes of Reme. Over all, the nations of Reme, Spain and Borealia seem to have the best chance by sheer experience, but that won't stop the fanatic patriotism of Germany or even Japan from pulling their best maneuvers. Many of the team leaders I made up. If you want them to be different, feel free to change them.
|Nation||Years in flight since||Industrial Strength see map)||Status of Aeronautics||Team Leader|
|Reme||1900||Red||Mostly individual experimentation||Andronicus Franqi|
|Spain||1903||Red||Group trade effort||Carlos Ferreira|
|Borealia||1905||Red||Developing private companies||Amelia Elcherson|
|Netherlands||1908||Red||Military aircraft||Hercule van Hauge|
|Morocco||1908||Orange||Government sponsored||Abdullah al-Jaddid|
|Rome||1910||Crimson||Mostly individual||Titus Orientus|
|Emereldie||1912||Yellow||Military aircraft||Gaston d'Valois|
|New Nordeney||1912||Green||Sharing airships with Oldenburg||Hans von Osnabruck|
|Brazil||1911||Orange||Government-sponsored||Fernando de Platte|
|Japan||1913||Orange||Government program||Mitsubishi Riyu|
|Kuba||1914||Yellow||Military project||Juan de la Avanne|
|Nation||Number of incidents (like crashing, RNG)||Overall efficiency (normalized, RNG)||Total time ((incidents - efficiency) x 30 hours)|
|Kuba||0||77%||19 hours, 42 minutes|
|Borealia||1||91%||27 hours, Zero minutes|
|Reme||0||91%||27 hours, Ten minutes|
|New Nordeney||0||92%||27 hours, 29 minutes|
|Spain||0||92%||27 hours, 32 minutes|
|Morocco||1||96%||28 hours, 39 minutes|
|Netherlands||1||97%||29 hours, One minute|
|Brazil||2||77%||49 hours, 53 minutes|
|Rome||1||89%||56 hours, 28 minutes|
|Emereldie||2||99%||59 hours, 31 minutes|
|Japan||5||46%||133 hours, 44 minutes|
In an astonishing turn of events, a last-minute entry from the small constituent Kingdom of Kuba blew away the competition with a remarkable time of less than 20 hours. This goes in history as the fastest flight on record thus far, and even more incredible considering the rambling shack of only 77% efficiency he flew in, which he built himself. The General President personally awards Juan with a silver wreath before an erupting crown of thousands of spectators and journalists worldwide. Juan and his family received the grand prize of 1.1 million Stavratons in the equivalent of Kuban Reichstalers. Many journalists in Borealia hope this brings the native Hispanics of Kuba back into the public eye since their annexation by Germany by the Treaty of Toledo.
In spite of near-fatal engine trouble a few miles west of the finish point, the second prize of 900,000 Stavratons was awarded to the world's leading female pilot, Amelia Elcherson (in the equivalent of Borealian Reichstalers). She finished within spitting distance of the Franqi brothers, with a difference of their total time of only ten minutes. Reportedly, Andronicus purposefully took the third prize on the spur of the moment. Seeing Amelia's plane in danger of crashing into the outskirts of Cahokie, Andronicus pulled the daring maneuver of jumping to the other plane in mid flight, leaving the controls to his fraternal copilot. Once aboard, the elder Franqi was able to save Amelia's while her sheer willpower managed to keep it aloft. The Franqi brothers will split the prize of 800,000 Stavratons.
Some other episodes in the air race was more of a matter of pride. The inventor Carlos Ferreira and Field Marshall Hans von Osnabruck found themselves a heated debate over politics early on. At some point, Carlos considered his personal honor affronted, and thus challenged the Field Marshall to a balloon duel over the Great Salt Lake. Needless to say they both emerged unharmed, although Ferreira successfully considered his honor restored. Rather than trying to overtake the Newfoundlander's dirigible, however, Ferrier instead dedicated himself to outdoing the insatiable pride of al-Jadid, Morocco's most daring pilot. In spite of Morocco's backward reputation among Europeans, al-Jadid's sheer genius at flying machines kept him within a meter of Ferreir's plane for the first half of the race. However, al-Jadid's plane inexplicably crashed in an isolated region of the northern plains. However, using just his wits and jungle (or rather arid) instincts, the Berber prodigy managed to Jerry-rig his plane back together in record time, arriving in Cahokie only one hour behind the Spaniard.
Hercule's plane crashed almost immediately upon take-off. However, his 97% efficiency gained significant ground in the long-run and brought him in only two hours behind the pack.
Despite his great reputation as a senior member of the air society of Brazil, all of de Platta's boasts were put to an end after he crashed twice in the middle of the race, costing him significant amount of leeway in the long run with almost twice the total time estimated. As insult upon injury, his plane came out with an embarrassing efficiency of only 77%.
The mighty Roman Empire was also humbled with a time of almost 60 hours. Although they had a very strong reputation for their technological edge, the unfortunate luck of Orientus found his plane crashed in the Rocky Mountains, and subsequently lost for almost an entire day before he and his aircraft were finally rescued.
The team representing Emereldie's air force was also very promising, but ran into a series of unfortunate events. After Valois's engine burned out some 50 miles into the race, the aristocrat decided not to dirty his hands, but send his commoner co-pilot to repair the engine for him. Unfortunately, the amateur mechanic mistakenly reconstituted the engine backwards, causing the plane upon takeoff to accelerate in reverse at an alarming speed. Due to the machine's remarkable 99% efficiency, the plane managed to completely overtake the distance thus traveled before Valois even realized what was going on. As the steering mechanism failed to respond, Gaston was forced to crash his own plane some 20 miles west of the starting point. Needless to say, the Emereldian arrived at Cahokie at the pitiful time of almost 60 hours.
Picking up the rear at almost a snail's pace was the experimental aircraft from Japan. The brilliant Japanese engineers managed to perfect an ingenious mechanism for take off. However, they neglected to devote the same resources for developing a proper landing system, as the East Asian team came in a rough landing at almost every single refueling station. This, and their unfortunate efficiency of less than 50%, cost them dearly as they trudged across the finish at over 130 hours.
Over all, the vast majority of the participants succeeded at achieving impressive records all around. And as for those who did poorly, they now have the opportunity to learn from the best aeronautical engineers the 20th century has produced thus far.