The Thompson race was a closed circuit, pylon-marked contest, comparable to a horse race in the air. Pilots all began together at the start line and jockeyed for position. The race was high speed at a low-altitude, and pilots had to make tight turns around the pylons which added extreme excitement to the event. Civilian pilots and homebuilt planes had a tendency to surpass the military in the Thompson contest. The Thompson race proved to be one of the most popular contests of its time.
Bequest of the Estate of Roscoe Turner
This trophy depicts a male angel figure in front of a mountain with arms and wings stretched upward. Around the top half of the trophy are small plaques engraved with the details of each winner. The top of the trophy depicts clouds out of which emerges a rising sun, with an eagle projecting from each side. The front of the base is text embossed reading "Charles E. Thompson Trophy". The back of the trophy is engraved with images of forms of transportation throughout history, and the artist's name engraved on the base "Walter A. Sinz SC. 1930".