Air Speed Record Breaker Autograph Signed Photograph, 1931
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Overall: 21cm (8.25in) x 25.5cm (10in)
Sepia photographic print of Flt Lt Stanforth and his Supermarine S6b S1596. Signed in ink upper left ‘G.H. Stainforth / 407 Miles per hour / 29 Sept 1931’. Framed and glazed. Image: 13cm x 8cm.
On 29 September 1931 Flight Lieutenant George Stainforth broke the air speed world record in Supermarine S6b S1596 with timed runs averaging 407.5 mph (655.8 km/h), and thus became the first man to travel in excess of 400mph. He was awarded the Air Force Cross for the achievement. Stainforth was also a member of the R.A.F. High Speed Flight which won the Schneider Trophy for the third time in a row, and thus won the competition outright. His Supermarine S 6B was the culmination of R.J. Mitchell’s quest to "perfect the design of the racing seaplane”.
In 1940 Stainforth took part in comparison trials flying a captured Bf 109E against a Spitfire Mark II flown by the Battle of Britain ace Bob Standford Tuck. Stainforth was later appointed to the command of No. 89 (Night Fighter) Squadron in October 1941. At the end of that year, the squadron was posted to the Middle East, and on the night of 27 September 1942, Stainforth was killed in action while piloting Beaufighter X7700 at Gharib, near the Gulf of Suez.