Return to 100 years of the Royal Air Force

John Moore-Brabazon in his Voisin ‘Bird of Passage’ aircraft in which he made the first flight in Britain by a British pilot at Leysdown, Kent. Image: Public Domain.

The aerodrome was the location of many early British aviation ‘firsts’, including the first controlled flight by aircraft by John Moore-Brabazon in 1909 – the first person in Britain to qualify as a pilot. The Short Brothers built the first aircraft factory on site.
It was also the first RNAS station, with Winston Churchill learning to fly at the aerodrome and Royal Aero Club founding member, Charles Rolls (of Rolls Royce fame), and other innovators trialling their new flying machines here.

John Moore-Brabazon in his Voisin ‘Bird of Passage’ aircraft in which he made the first flight in Britain by a British pilot at Leysdown, Kent. Image: Public Domain.

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