A crowd estimated at 5,000 persons witnessed the start of the tour.
Fifteen planes from Selfridge Field entertained
with demonstrations of formation flying before the start.

Will Turn South After Stop In Binghamton, N.Y., Tonight

The second day of the 1931 National Air Tour for the Edsel Ford Trophy today, was to find the 14 competing planes and a dozen accompanying planes en route from Le Roy, N.Y., to Binghamton, N.Y. From Binghamton, the tour is to fly south and west as far as San Antonio, Tex., returning to Ford Airport July 25.
     A holiday crowd of about 5,000 persons witnessed the start of the tour from the Ford Airport Saturday morning. Col. Clarence M. Young, assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics, came from Cleveland to witness the start. Fifteen Army planes from Selfridge Field stunted over the field just before the takeoff and accompanied the tour planes as far as Walker Airport, Walkerville, Ont.


At Walker Airport, where the tour planes stopped for a long luncheon hour, they joined the large number of planes participating in the Trans-Canada Air Pageant there.
     Most of the racers got off to a bad start from Ford Airport. Only flying a Mercury Chic, Capt. William Lancaster, flying a Bird and Eddie Schneider, flying a Cessna, got away on time. Leonard Flo, flying a Bird cabin plane, was delayed more than a half hour when he broke a tail skid just before the takeoff and the two Ford entries were 15 minutes late. The racers were timed from the minute they were supposed to take off.
     Other entries are Charles F. Sugg, Capt. Walter Henderson and Jack Story, flying Buhl entries; James H. Smart and Harry Russell, flying Ford trimotors; Joseph Meehan, flying a Great Lakes; Lowell Bayles, flying a Gee Bee; Eddie Stinson, flying a Stinson and George Dickson, flying an Aeronca.


Among the well-known pilots flying accompanying planes are Maj. James H. Doolittle, referee of the tour, who is accompanied by Mrs. Doolittle and Mrs. Ray W. Brown, wife of the assistant tour starter; Capt. Lewis A. Yancey, who flew with Roger Q. Willliams across the Atlantic in 1928, who is piloting an autogiro in the tour; Walter E. Lees, Detroit pilot who holds the world's non-refueling endurance record, and George Haldeman, who attempted to fly the Atlantic with Ruth Elder.
     Maj. Thomas G. Lanphier, former commandant at Selfridge Field, is accompanying the tour as far as Binghamton as a passenger.
     Night stops after tonight will be as follows: Monday, Bradford, Pa,; Tuesday, Wheeling, W. Va.; Wednesday, Huntington, W. Va.; Thursday, Knoxviille, Tenn.; Friday, Memphis; Saturday, Birmingham, Ala.; July 12, Montgomery, Ala.; July 13, New Orleans; July 14, Shreveport, La.; July 15, Houston, Tex.; July 16, San Antonio; July 17 and 18, Fort Worth, Tex.; July 19, Ponca City, Okla.; July 20, Kansas City; July 21, Lincoln, Neb.; July 22, Omaha; July 23, Davenport, Ia.; July 24, Kalamazoo; July 25, Detroit.
     The tour will cover more than 6,000 miles, visiting 18 states. The Ford Trophy will go to the pilot whose plane performs most efficiently, as judged by the scoring formula, over the entire distance. A separate trophy, the Great Lakes Light Plane Trophy, will go to the pilot of the plane of less than 510 cubic inches engine displacement which makes the best score.

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