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Brilish Army 'r'g-
Aeroplone No I ls
Samuel Franl<lin Cody, born with T1
the surname Cowdery in lowa in
1867,may have hailed from across
theAtlantic but can truly be
described as the father of British
aviation. Having settled in England,
a boyhood fascination with kites
began to develop into something
more, and Codys man-lifting
craft attracted the attention of
the military who saw potential
in using them for observation
purposes. He was appointed Gq
chief instructor in kiting at the
Armys School of Ballooning
in Aldershot, and two Royal
Engineers l<ite sections were
established under his control,
the countryi first military
'aviation' units.Aboard his self-designed British ArmyAeroplane
No l, as pictured here, Cody undertook what was recorded as the first sustained heavier-than-air
powered flight in the British lsles from Farnborough Common on l6 October 1908. lr would be
damaged soon afterwards,but Cody continued undaunted despite a lacl< of further military support
100 years ago this year, he became the first pilot anywhere to fly an aircraft carrying passengers. His
life was to come to an end in a flying accident aboard a floatplane design on 7 August I 9 I 3, but his
legacy was not in doubt.

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Avro Triplone
100 years old as of I January next year,Avro was always one of the
great pioneering companies in British aviation.AlliottVerdon Roe
undertook his initial 'hops'aboard his Roe lAvroplane at Brooklands
on 8 June I 908, and although these cannot be classed as true flights
he was soon airborne more confidently, becoming the first Englishman
to take to the skies in a British-built aircraft from British soil when
his newAvroTriplane, shown here, lifted off from Lea Marshes,
Walthamstow, on I 3 July 1909. Roe would construct a total of four
Triplanes. Progression to aircraft manufacturing was a natural, if
ambitious, step, and A.V. Roe and Company was founded in Manchester
on I January 1910.

de Hovillond
MflP- Biplone No I
This was the primitive aircraft
that represented the aeronautical
beginnings of another legendary
name in British aviation
-
de Havilland.The 45hp biplane
designed by Geoffrey de
Havilland was test-flown from
Seven Barrows in Berkshire in
December 1909, but only briefly,
for it crashed after
a short hop.
j Subsequent designs would prove
! rather more successful.
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Royol Aircrofl Foctory FEI
The second of Geoffrey de Havillandl designs to
fly, this proved more successful than his first.
de Havilland joined the Farnborough-based Army
Balloon Factory, later the Royal Aircraft Factory, in
I 9 I 0, but that year had already flown his second

aircraft design.The War Office purchased the


machine and gave it the first Royal Aircraft Factory
aircraft designation, FE l. lt crashed in I 9 I l, but
was rebuilt as the first type to bear the FE2 name,
a though by now it was very different to the FE I .

Brislol Boxkite
The Filton, Bristol, factory of the
British and Colonial Aeroplane
Company, later the Bristol
Aeroplane Company, developed
Henri Farman's biplane design
into what became known as the
Boxkite. First flown in July 1910,
a total of 75 examples were
built, mostly for the British Army
it was the first
-ordered by theWaraircraft type
Office.

Chris Hodge
Trucks AAD5
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Avro Triplone
100 years old as of I January next year,Avro was always one of the
I
great pioneering companies in British aviation.AlliottVerdon Roe
undertook his initial 'hops'aboard his Roe lAvroplane at Brooklands
on 8 June I 908, and although these cannot be classed as true flights j
he was soon airborne more confidently, becoming the first Englishman
to take to the skies in a British-built aircraft from British soil when
his new Avro Triplane, shown here, lifted off from Lea Marshes,
Walthamstow, on l3 July 1909. Roe would construct a total of four
Triplanes. Progression to aircraft manufacturing was a natural, if
ambitious, step, and A.V. Roe and Company was founded in Manchester
on I January 1910.
Chris Hoclge lrucks
AAD6oc

de Hqvillqnd
Biplone No I
This was the primitive aircraft
"L?4-8 that represented the aeronautical
beginnings of another legendary
name in British aviation
-
de Havilland.The 45hp biplane
designed by Geoffrey de
I
Havilland was test-flown from
Seven Barrows in Berl<shire in
December 1909, but only briefly,
for it crashed after a short hop.
j Subsequent designs would prove
3 rather more successful.
I
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Royol Aircrofl Foctory FEI
"|{4*g*n
The second of Geoffrey de Havilland's designs to
fly, this proved more successful than his first.
de Havilland joined the Farnborough-based Army
Balloon Factory, later the Royal Aircraft Factory, in
I 9 I 0, but that year had already flown his second

aircraft design.TheWar Office purchased the


machine and gave it the first Royal Aircraft Factory
aircraft designation, FE l. lt crashed in I 9 I I, but
!
was rebuilt as the first type to bear the FE2 name,
!
though by now it was very different to the FE l.
.!

Bristol Boxkite
The Filton, Bristol, factory of the
British and Colonial Aeroplane
Company, later the Bristol
Aeroplane Company, developed
Henri Farman! biplane design
into what became l<nown as the
Boxkite. First flown in July 1910,
a total of 76 examples were
built, mostly for the British Army
it was the first aircraft
-ordered by theWar Office.type

Chris Hodge Truck5


44p5 12

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Short S38
The Short S38 was amongst the pioneering aircraft
ofBritish naval aviation. l0January l9l2 saw
the first take-off from a British warship when
Lt C. R. Samson got airborne in his S38 from the
fixed wooden forecastle ramp on HMS Africo,
a cruiser.The ship was at anchor off Sheerness
at the time, and the aircraft took to the air
after a run of I 00ft, well before the end of the
ramp. Samson went one step further on 2 May
l9l2 when he launched his S38 from a similar fixed ramp on
battleship HMS Hibernio inWeymouth Bay,this time while the ship was under way at 10.51<t. l ir Al1111 1 1,, , ,

Short Type 184


The ShortType 184 made history
in August 1915,lust after its service
entry,when an example launched
from the seaplane tender HMS
Ben-my-Chree during the Dardanelles
campaign undertook the first
successful hit of an enemy vessel
(aTurkish supply steamer) with
an air-launched torpedo. lts
performance for its intended role
being limited, the type would go on
to be used more for reconnaissance
and conventional bombing duties.

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Avro 504
One of the greatest British military aircraft of all time, more than
10,000 Avro 504s of all versions were produced between l9l3
and 1932. Some were used for front-line roles by both the Royal
Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service early in WW l, exploits
including a successful attack by RNAS machines on the Zeppelin
worl<s at Friedrichshafen, while 504s took on the home defence
fighter role in 1917,but by then the type and in particular
the 504K
-
had become established as a trainer. lt fulfilled this
-
purpose for many years, with the improved 504N being the final
production variant. Many surplus examples also found their way
onto the British civil register between the wars.

lan Allan 1- rrary

Sopwith Cqmel
First flown in December l916, the Camel was a
replacement for the Sopwith Pup.The type proved to be
the most successful Allied fighter of the l9l4- l8 conflict,
claiming 1,294 enemy aircraft destroyed thanks in no small
measure to its outstanding manoeuvrability combined with
its powerful engine (mostly Clerget units,though Le Rhone,
Bentley and Gnome powerplants were also used) and
two .303inVickers machine guns. Camels were also used as
shipborne fighters and for ground attacl< duties before the
Armistice. In this photograph, dating from 1918, a Camel is
taking off from HMS Pegcsus, a seaplane tender that could
also launch landplanes from its small deck.

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Airco DH4
Of Geoffrey de Havillandl designs for Airco, the DH4 was one of the
best.After its maiden flight in August 1916, this two-seat day bomber
entered service with the RFC the following January, and it also equipped
RNAS units. Most production examples used the Rolls-Royce Eagle
engine, and this gave excellent performance;American-built DH4s, which
also served in France in numbers duringWWl,had Liberty powerplants.
The DH4, upon which its DH9 successor failed to improve, made a
substantial contribution to the war effort, taking the fight to Germany
as part of the lndependentAir Force's strategic bombing offensive in
l9lS.After hostilities ceased, many carried on flying as passenger, cargo
and mail transports on both sides of theAtlantic.
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RAes/Aviatron-lmages

Royol Aircrqft Foclory SE5


The arrival in service of the SE5, and specifically the'definitive' SE5a, helped turn the tide in the Allies' favour during
WWl,for it was a rapid fighter capable of taking on anything the Germans had to offer.The maiden flight of the
SE5 occurred in November l9l6,and March l9l7 saw initial deliveries to No 56 Squadron, RFC. Production soon
switched to the SE5a,and once problems with its Hispano-Suiza engine were solved by substituting theWolseley
Viper, the aircraft came of age.
Aces such as Mick Mannock,
James McCudden and Albert
Ball scored many kills in
SESas, securing the type's
place as a legend. Shown 0
here in this rare photo are
five SE5as of the Savage
F
Skywriting Co, which used
surplus aircraft afterWW I . I
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Bristol Fighter
The early combat service of the'Brisfit' was hardly
auspicious, four of the six F2a aircraft sent on the type's
first patrol being shot down by German Albatros D.llls.
Changes to two-seat fighter tactics helped, allowing

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fl'o
the Bristoll better agility than other such aircraft to be
exploited,while the F2b version,the definitive production
variant, boasted the more powerful Rolls-Royce Falcon lll
engine.Almost 1,600 were in service by war's end, and over
5,300 were produced by numerous factories.They served
all over the world, with the RAF which used F2bs right
around the Empire long afterWWl - and other air arms.
-
lndeed, the aircraft illustrated here was built for Spain in
r,A trt i,L), 192 l, fitted with a 200hp Hispano-Suiza engine.

Supermorine Soulhomplon
In typically stately fashion, a flight of three
RAF Supermarine Southamptons cruises
above the waves.The twin-engined (mainly
with versions of the Napier Lion) general
reconnaissance flying boat tool< to the
air and entered service in I 925. Several
high-profile long-distance flights made the
Southampton famous, most notably a trip t
of 27,000 miles by four aircraft from the
Far East Flight in 1927-z9,tal<ing them from
Felixstowe to lndia, Singapore,Australia, Hong
Kong and then bacl< to Singapore.
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Foirey lllF
Various floatplane and
landplane versions of
the Fairey lll series
culminated in the lllF,
first flown on 20April
1926. lt was developed
for both the FleetAir
Arm, who used it as a
spotting/reconnaissance
platform, and the RAF
as a general-purpose
a&' aircraft. Float-equipped
lllFs were launched
from Royal Navy capital
ships, while wheeled
a
examples flew off
aircraft carriers. lts RAF
service in helping police
! the colonies was no less
extensive.The Fairey lllF
Mklll, as depicted here
Supermorine 55 and heralded the start of British domination of by S 1794, was the most
the SchneiderTrophy, culminating in our winning extensively-produced
This was the aircraft that was the subject of the cup in perpetuity with the 568 in l93l.And, mark of what was the
great British national pride, and pride in our of course, the experience built up by Reginald FAAI most numerous
aviation industry, by winning the Schneider Mitchell and Supermarine in creating these fast type for several years
Trophy in 1927 flown by Flt Lt SidneyWebster at seaplanes would prove of good use when they between the wars.
an average speed of 28 l.66mph (453.28km/h). lt came to design the aircraft which became known
was our first victory in the contest for five years, as the Spitfire.

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* II Hondley-Poge HP42
t**ffiffiffiffi*'.*;. i
t lf there's an aircraft that sums

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up inter-war lmperial Airways,
it's the Handley-Page HP42. ln
the days of Empire, it served
elegantly on the lengthy routes
out East, its maximum speed
of l20mph meaning that
progress was decidedly stately
over the long sectors that
its 500-mile range
permitted, but this was
travelling in style.24
passengers could be
acco mmodated. The
similar HP45 had a
Sreater number of
seats (29), but shorter
,,j:rlgpor " range, and was used
rl, ' ,l
on European routes.
Pictured here is
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,{fu*' HP42 G-AAUC
d. Horso, the second
S/"Yr4 -* example of four
built, first flown on
ll September 193 l.
Hondley-Poge Heyford
No-one could have described the Heyford as ahead
of its time, despite its unusual configuration with the
fuselage mounted to the upper, rather than lower,
wings. However, it was a reliable workhorse of a
bomber, and, with its two Rolls-Royce Kestrel engines
and rugged construction, surprisingly sprightly
it could even be looped!The prototype! maiden -
flight occurred in June l930,and service entry with
No 99 Squadron (at, fittingly, Upper Heyford) in Chr s Hodge Trucks AAD495

November l933.The days of biplane heavy bombers


were numbered, though, and although some units
formed under the RAF Expansion Scheme received
Heyfords, they were replaced by Whitleys,Wellesleys Foirey long-Ronge Monoplqne
and Wellingtons before the outbreak of war, a few
soldiering on as trainers. K4029 in the photograph A rather ungainly machine,the Fairey Long-Range Monoplane was
was an'interim' Mkl/lA example. nonetheless a great British record-breaker of the inter-war years.The
intention was for the aircraft to study ways of increasing the range of
future designs, and two ended up being built the first made its initial
- 1928 and then made
flight in November
a non-stop flight from RAF Cranwell to
Karachi, but was later lost in an accident
inTlnis during a distance record attempt.
This led to a second example, K 199 I
(shown here), being built, which captured
the world long-distance flight record in
February 1933 with a trip of 5,4 l0 miles
between Cranwell andWalvis Bay in
South-West Africa.

Chris Hodge Trucks MD569

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Howker Horl
The Hart was a light bomber, one of the first of the great
family of inter-war Hawl<er biplanes. lt first flew in June
I to No 33 Squadron began at the
928, and deliveries
start of I 930 the first of 20 squadrons stationed at
-
home and in lndia, Egypt and Palestine to use the rapid
and agile Rolls-Royce Kestrel-powered machine,which
could outperform most RAF fighters of the day even when
carrying its 5001b load.The pace of development was such
that Harts were superseded by more powerful Hawker
Hinds in UK-based bomber units during l936,though they
continued serving on the North-West Frontier of lndia
until 1939, and then in second-line roles as well as with
several overseas air arms.The Harts in the photograph Chr: Hodgc Trurks AAD502
belonged to No 57 Squadron at Netheravon.
Howker Osprey
A fine study of Hawker Osprey lll K36 15,
representative here of the manufacturer's
inter-war naval fighters that served
the FleetAirArm well.The Osprey
was a development of the Hart with a
strengthened fuselage, folding wings and
beefed-up undercarriage that served as a
fleet fighter and reconnaissance aircraft
o from 1932 onwards, that also being
.{ the year in which the Hawker Nimrod
entered FAA service. I l2 Ospreys were
built, and the type was in front-line service
I for six years.
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Howker High-Speed Fury de Hqvillqnd


ls there a more aggressive-lool<ing, yet still DH82A Tiger Molh
beautiful, Hawl<er biplane fighter than the Probably de Havilland's most
High-Speed Fury? When the standard Fury I famous product of all time, the
began to enter RAF service in 193 l, Hawker Tiger Moth remains one of
was already looking ahead to its contender for
the greatest training aircraft
the Air Ministry's F7l30 fighter requirement,
the world has ever seen.This
the PV3, and built the High-Speed Fury for simple biplane, with its l30hp
testing and development purposes. lt first
DH Gipsy Major I engine, would
flew in May 1933. ln the event, the PV3 was
soon show any deficiencies in
not successful, but the High-Speed Fury was
the student pilot, being docile
used to help perfect the Fury design, and
yet challenging to fly well, as
some elements were carried over into the
thousands upon thousands
production Fury ll, such as the cleaner, lower-
of trainees in Britain,the
drag airframe.At the time the accompanying
Commonwealth and elsewhere
photo was taken, the High-Speed Fury
would find. Only a few months after the type
was powered by a Rolls-Royce KestrelVlS
took to the air for the first time on 26 October
delivering a potent 600hp.
193 l, the Tiger Moth entered service with the
Central Flying School. Over 7,000 were built in
Britain, some 4,000 alone for the RAF during the
war, with almost 3,000 others being produced
in Canada,Australia and New Zealand.The RAF
retired the type in 1951, but even today theTiger
Moth remains much in demand as a taildragger
trainer, and for giving nostalgic joyrides redolent
of a golden era. ln the photograph, two privately-
ownedTiger Moths, led by the Cambridge Flying
Group's G-AOEl, are pictured overflying the old
de Havilland works at Hatfield.

TrLrcl<s AAD649
Chris Hodge

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de Hqvillqnd DH89 Drogon Ropide/Dominie


This year marks the 75th anniversary of the maiden flight of the Dragon
Rapide, the eight-passenger twin-engined airliner that gave sterling service

I
with carriers before and after the war. lt also achieved fame as the first
aircraft to carry a reigning British monarch, King EdwardVlll flying aboard
the King's Flight's new example in 1936. Pre-war production totalled
just over 200, but another 520 or so were built during hostilities for the
military, adding to civilian examples impressed into service. Named the
Dominie, the military version was used as a wireless oPerator trainer and
communications aircraft by both the RAF and Royal Navy,and many found
their way onto the commercial market post- 1945 as civil air transport
recovered in peacetime.And as with theTiger Moth,the Dragon Rapide is
still popular today with pleasure flight passengers.

Glosler Glodiolor Chris Hodge Trucks


AAD462

The Gloster Gauntlet had been an excellent fighter, but the Gladiator,
with a more powerful Bristol Mercury engine and a more refined design
including, on production aircraft, an enclosed cockpit proved even
more so.The aircraft pictured is in fact the open-cockpit Gloster SS37
prototype, flown in September 1934 and being developed at the time
as a private venture. But theAir Ministry ordered over 200 for the
RAF during 1935, and production for the service eventually totalled
more than 480 out of 787 built in all. No 72 Squadron was the first
unit to re-equip, in February 1937. Outdated and mostly replaced at
the outbreal< of war, some Gladiators soldiered on overseas, most
famously in Norway, Malta and theWestern Desert.The Gloster
biplane may have been obsolete, but it earned its spurs magnificently.

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