Ascent by balloon and gliding were the most common forms
of flight when Alan Cobham was born in late Victorian London. By
the time he died supersonic travel was an everyday event and man
had walked on the moon.
Cobham was destined to become a highly influential figure
in British aviation, participating in what could be termed one of
the most pivotal periods of technology development in
Serving in the First World War, Cobham saw the potential
for aviation as a mode of transport and transferred to the Royal
Flying Corps, finishing the war as an instructor.
After the war he gained international recognition and a
knighthood with a series of trail-blazing long-distance flights and
the creation of his 'Flying Circus'.
Alan Cobham, left, with long-serving engineer
Arthur Elliott and Director of Civil Aviation, Sir Sefton Brancker.
Both spent many hours in an aircraft with Cobham proving foreign