First Briton Killed in Aircraft Accident
Enormous bravery was needed to be an aviation pioneer. Much about the early days of powered flight was hit and miss, often in the literal sense: engines failed and pilots were forced to glide to impromptu landing sites; and mechanical parts could be somewhat delicate too. Thus it was with the first aeronautical fatality in British history, when the tail of a Wright Flyer built under license by Short Brothers broke off during a display in Bournemouth on July 12 1910.
The ensuing accident killed the craft’s pilot, this tragedy being even more significant in that the man flying the plane was Charles Rolls , who with Henry Royce had just four years previously founded their famous car company . Rolls was just 32.
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