THE FIRST GREAT GATHERING OF AVIATORS.
JOURDAIN, ROGER. Aérodrome de Vichy. Meeting organisé par la Ste. l'Ariel ... Concours Promenades Leçons. Paris: Publicité Vig, [1909.] Lithographed poster printed in colors, 43 x 30½ inches. Laid on linen.
The Grande Semaine d'Aviation at Reims in August of 1909 is generally considered the first major aviation meeting, but an aviation event was planned in Vichy for June 1909. It was delayed until mid-July, poorly attended, and dogged by bad weather. Flight magazine remarked on July 24, "The much-talked-of Vichy meeting ... has not, up to the time of going to press, contributed any particularly startling records to the annals of flight. Of the seven competitors entered, only two or three have so far made attempts." A week later, their headline was "Cyclone Ends Vichy Meeting." The event was also overshadowed by Bleriot's crossing of the Channel. The Grand Prix de Vichy was won by Paul Tissandier, Wright's French pupil.
In this striking image, a fashionably-dressed woman watches Wright-Ariel and Voisin biplanes.