Cobham’s Closing Comments

‘It’s a full time job being Sir Alan Cobham!’

Sir Alan Cobham

Sir Alan Cobham championed the cause of civil aviation like no other after the First World War, making it accessible and popular with the British people.

His long distance flights and aviation tours inspired a generation to fly, many of whom would later contribute to the Allies victory in the Second World War.

Cobham’s legacy lives on through his company, Cobham PLC, which is now 80 years old, and continues to pioneer aviation technology.

‘So I want to offer two morals. The first is that a man can make his own way in the world, and stand on his own feet, and accept responsibility for his own life – and not only when he starts off from some position of privilege and security. The second is that he needs to work, and that if he really tries he can achieve a great deal more than most people now seem to suppose’.
Sir Alan Cobham, A Time to Fly

“When I first worked for the cause of civil aviation, I saw it very largely as a means of drawing the Empire together, and if I was welcomed by vast enthusiastic crowds on so many improvised aerodromes in Africa and Asia and Australia, this was because people there shared this purpose and were glad to see signs of fulfilment. The empire has gone, but people still need to be drawn together, and civil aviation is a wonderful instrument for doing the job”
Sir Alan Cobham, A Time to Fly

“If the present seems less satisfactory, we ought to do something about it; we shouldn’t take refuge from it in mere nostalgia. One ought to engage with the future and grapple with it.
Sir Alan Cobham, A Time to Fly

“If I have any final or moral message to pass on to my readers, it concerns the importance of engaging with the task that now lies ahead of you”
Sir Alan Cobham, A Time to Fly