As it took but a few months following the advent of the automobile for auto racing to be born, so too did the airplane quickly become a competitive toy. At the Reims Air Show in 1909, the American Glenn Curtiss and Frenchman Louis Bleriot vied for a new speed record. In the 1920s, the Schneider Cup produced racing heroes Eke Jimmy Doolittle, Roscoe Turner, and Tony LeVier. And after World War II, competition recommenced at the Reno air races. Meanwhile, record breaking became a competition in itself, from Farman to Howard Hughes, and Scott Crossfield to Chuck Yeager; from the France-Tunisia flight of Roland Garros in 1913 to the impressive 1936 Caudron C-460, the lethal Messerschmitt Me209, and the supersonic Bell XS-1. Such pioneering risk takers, their aircraft, and their achievements are illustrated and analyzed in precise technical detail. With short biographies of key pilots and designers and a stock of previously unseen photographs, this volume is irresistible to aviation enthusiasts.