|Died||19 August 1959 79) (aged|
|Spouse(s)||Dorothy Caldwell Taylor (1912, dissolved 1916), Ethel Levey (1916, separated 1934, div 1939) Phoebe Lee (1939)|
Claude Grahame-White (21 August 1879 – 19 August 1959) was an English pioneer of aviation, and the first to make a night flight, during the Daily Mail -sponsored 1910 London to Manchester air race.
Grahame-White was born in Bursledon, Hampshire in England on 21 August 1879, and educated at Bedford Grammar School.He learned to drive in 1895, was apprenticed as an engineer and later started his own motor engineering company.
Grahame-White's interest in aviation was sparked by Louis Blériot's crossing of the English Channel in 1909. This prompted him to go to France, where he attended the Reims aviation meeting, at which he met Blériot and subsequently enrolled at his flying school.
Grahame-White was one of the first people to qualify as pilot in England, becoming the holder of Royal Aero Club certificate No. 6, awarded in April 1910. He became a celebrity in England in April 1910 when he competed with the French pilot Louis Paulhan for the £10,000 prize offered by the Daily Mail newspaper for the first flight between London and Manchester in under 24 hours. Although Paulhan won the prize, Grahame White's achievement was widely praised.
On 2 July 1910, Claude Grahame-White, in his Farman III biplane, won the £1,000 first prize for Aggregate Duration in Flight (1 hr 23 min 20 secs) at the Midlands Aviation Meeting at Wolverhampton. In the same year he won the Gordon Bennett Aviation Cup race in Belmont Park, Long Island, New York, for which he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club.
On 14 October 1910 while in Washington, D.C. Grahame-White flew his Farman biplane over the city and landed on West Executive Avenue near the White House.Rather than being arrested Grahame-White was applauded for the feat by the newspapers.
On 26 September 1911 at an International Air Meet at Nassau Boulevard Long Island New York attended by Eugene Ely, George W. Beatty, Harry Atwood, Bud Mars, J. A. D. MucCurdy and Matilda Moissant, Grahame-White won a prize of $600.00 in a speed contest for flying his monoplane ten miles at a speed of 61 and 1/2 miles per hour.
He is known for activities related to the commercialisation of aviation, and he was also involved in promoting the military application of air power before the First World War with a campaign called "Wake Up Britain", also experimenting with fitting various weapons and bombs to aircraft. During the war itself he flew the first night patrol mission against an expected German raid on 5 September 1914.
In 1911 he established a flying school at Hendon Aerodrome. Cheridah de Beauvoir Stocks, the second British woman to gain a Royal Aero Club aviator's licence, trained at the school, earning her certificate in November 1911.In 1912 Grahame-White gave H.G. Wells his first flight. The Aerodrome was lent to the Admiralty (1916), and eventually taken over by the RAF in 1919. Grahame-White's aerodrome was purchased by the RAF in 1925, after a protracted legal struggle. After this he lost his interest in aviation, eventually moving to Nice in his old age, where he died in 1959 having made a fortune in property development in the UK and US.
Hendon Aerodrome later became RAF Hendon but after flying ceased there in the 1960s it was then largely redeveloped as a housing estate which was named Grahame Park in tribute to Grahame-White. An original World War I Grahame-White aircraft factory hangar was relocated a few years ago to the Royal Air Force Museum London, where it houses the museum's World War I collection and is named the Grahame White Factory.
Grahame-White was a co-founder of Aerofilms Limited in 1919.
In 1911 The Grahame-White Aviation Company was formed to cover his aviation interests, including aerodromes and aircraft design, development, and construction. One of the designers, John Dudley North, became Boulton & Paul's chief designer.
Aircraft built by the Grahame-White Aviation Company included:
As well as his success in aviation, Claude Grahame-White was a published author whose works include:
He also contributed to newspapers, reviews, and magazines, dealing with aeronautics in the military and commercial fields.
The Bristol Aeroplane Company, originally the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company, was both one of the first and one of the most important British aviation companies, designing and manufacturing both airframes and aircraft engines. Notable aircraft produced by the company include the 'Boxkite', the Bristol Fighter, the Bulldog, the Blenheim, the Beaufighter, and the Britannia, and much of the preliminary work which led to Concorde was carried out by the company. In 1956 its major operations were split into Bristol Aircraft and Bristol Aero Engines. In 1959, Bristol Aircraft merged with several major British aircraft companies to form the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) and Bristol Aero Engines merged with Armstrong Siddeley to form Bristol Siddeley.
The Royal Aero Club (RAeC) is the national co-ordinating body for air sport in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1901 as the Aero Club of Great Britain, being granted the title of the "Royal Aero Club" in 1910.
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1910:
Hendon Aerodrome was an aerodrome in London, England, that was an important centre for aviation from 1908 to 1968.
The Boxkite was the first aircraft produced by the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company. A pusher biplane based on the successful Farman III, it was one of the first aircraft types to be built in quantity. As the type was used by Bristol for instruction purposes at their flying schools at Larkhill and Brooklands many early British aviators learned to fly in a Boxkite. Four were purchased in 1911 by the War Office and examples were sold to Russia and Australia. It continued to be used for training purposes until after the outbreak of the First World War.
The Blériot XI is a French aircraft of the pioneer era of aviation. The first example was used by Louis Blériot to make the first flight across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air aircraft, on 25 July 1909. This is one of the most famous accomplishments of the pioneer era of aviation, and not only won Blériot a lasting place in history but also assured the future of his aircraft manufacturing business. The event caused a major reappraisal of the importance of aviation; the English newspaper The Daily Express led its story of the flight with the headline "Britain is no longer an Island".
Isidore Auguste Marie Louis Paulhan, known as Louis Paulhan, was a pioneering French aviator. He is known for winning the first Daily Mail aviation prize for the first flight between London and Manchester in 1910.
The Farman III, also known as the Henry Farman 1909 biplane, was an early French aircraft designed and built by Henry Farman in 1909. Its design was widely imitated, so much so that aircraft of similar layout were generally referred to as being of the "Farman" type.
The Grahame-White Type X Charabanc or Aerobus was a 1910s British passenger-carrying biplane designed and built by the Grahame-White Aviation Company based at Hendon Aerodrome, North London.
Lieutenant Wilfred Parke RN (1889–1912) was a British aviator who was the first pilot to make an observed recovery from a spin.
Captain Horatio Claude Barber (1875–1964) was an early British aviation pioneer and First World War flight instructor. In 1911 he flew the first cargo flight in Britain, transporting electric light bulbs from Shoreham to Hove. He was also the first person in Great Britain to gain an aeronautical degree.
Flight Lieutenant Cyril Burfield Ridley was a British World War I flying ace, who served in the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Air Force, before being killed in a flying accident in 1920.
Captain Howard John Thomas Saint was a Welsh First World War flying ace credited with seven aerial victories. He became the chief test pilot for the Gloster Aircraft Company in the 1930s.
The 1910 London to Manchester air race took place between two aviators, each of whom attempted to win a heavier-than-air powered flight challenge between London and Manchester. The race had first been proposed by the Daily Mail newspaper in 1906. The £10,000 prize was won in April 1910 by Frenchman Louis Paulhan.
Major Frank Widenham Goodden was a pioneering British aviator who served as chief test pilot for the Royal Aircraft Factory during the First World War.
George Holt Thomas aviation industry pioneer and newspaper proprietor. Holt Thomas founded, in 1911, the business which became Aircraft Manufacturing Company Limited or Airco.
Henri Salmet was an early French aviator
The Paulhan biplane was a French experimental aircraft designed in 1910 by the successful aviator Louis Paulhan in collaboration with Henri Fabre. The prototype became the second aircraft bought by the British War Office: two further examples, differing in constructional detail, were built.
The pioneer era of aviation was the period of aviation history between the first successful powered flight, generally accepted to have been made by the Wright Brothers on 17 December 1903, and the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914.
William Taylor Birchenough (1891–1962) was a pioneering British aviator and test pilot.
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