The first air race in recorded history was held in Reims, France, in August 1909.

With a top speed of 46 mph (75 km/h) and two laps completed in 15 minutes, a young and intrepid American named Glenn H. Curtiss beat out France’s Louis Bleriot and Hubert Latham, among others, to take home the Gordon Bennett Trophy.

At the helm of his "Reims Racer," Curtiss would go down in history as the first-ever world champion air racer. For his great accomplishments in aviation, his willingness to help and to share his findings, and public demonstration of all his flights, the Aero Club of America awarded him aviator license number one on June 8, 1911.

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