The Legacy of Flight
Images from the archives of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.
- By David Romanowski and Melissa Keiser
- AirSpaceMag.com, September 14, 2010
The National Air Races were the Indy 500 of the air, the preeminent air racing event in the United States. The multiple-day extravaganza featured numerous aerial events and races, including the Pulitzer Trophy speed race, the main event during the 1920s. Banking around a pylon here at the 1931 Nationals is Johnny Livingston in his clipped-wing Monocoupe 110 Special, an airplane he made famous. One of the Golden Age’s winningest pilots, Livingston rarely placed less than second. He made a lasting impression on a fellow pilot from Iowa, Richard Bach, inspiring him to write the 1970s best-seller Jonathan Livingston Seagull.