British Civil Aviation in 1910

15 February
British civil aviation is further enhanced when the Aero Club of Great Britain is granted the title ‘Royal Aero Club’ by King Edward VII.

To encourage military aviation, Charles Stewart Rolls gives his Wright biplane to the British Army.

8 March
The first pilot’s licence is issued in the United Kingdom. Royal Aero Club licence No.1 is issued to J.T.C. Moore Brabazon (later Lord Brabazon of Tara) and Charles Stewart Rolls receives the second.

11 March
Lieutenant John William Dunne’s tail-less biplane is tested at Eastchurch.

27-28 April
Claude Grahame-White makes the first European night-flight from Roade in Northamptonshire to Lichfield in Staffordshire, during the Daily Mail’s £10,000 London to Manchester race. Louis Paulhan wins the race in a Farman aeroplane.

26 May
Frederick Handley Page makes several hops in his ‘Bluebird’ monoplane at Barking but crashes while attempting to turn.

2 June
The Honorable Charles Stewart Rolls makes a non-stop double-crossing of the English Channel in a Wright biplane, from Dover to Sangatte in France.

24 June
Alliott Verdon Roe flies his Roe III, an advanced triplane design that introduces trailing-edge ailerons, tail-unit elevators and large-area rudders.

12 July
The Honorable Charles Stewart Rolls is the first United Kingdom pilot to be killed in an air crash, in a Wright Flyer at Bournemouth.

10 August
Claude Grahame-White carries the first British airmail from Squires Gate to Southport in his Blériot monoplane, but lands short of his destination.

11 September
Robert Loraine makes the first aeroplane flight across the Irish Sea, from Holyhead to Howth, in his Farman biplane, but fails to reach the Irish coast when his engine cuts out.

1 October
Hendon Aerodrome, the present day site of the Royal Air Force Museum, in Middlesex (North London) is opened by Louis Blériot.

22 October
Thomas O.M. Sopwith begins his flying career, but crashes his Howard Wright monoplane while attempting his first flight.

29 October
The first Gordon Bennett International Air Race at Belmont Park in New York is won by Claude Grahame-White.

4 November
Briton Ernest Thompson Willows makes the first airship flight across the English Channel in his Willows III ‘City of Cardiff’ airship.

18 December
While winning the Baron de Forest Prize of £4,000, Thomas O.M. Sopwith performs the longest straight line flight in Europe by a British pilot in a British aeroplane. The flight covers a distance of 285 kilometres (177 miles).

31 December
Samuel Cody attempts to win the British Empire Michelin cup, for the longest closed-circuit flight, before 1 January, flying for 4 hours 47 minutes.

Also this year…
The Short No.3 becomes the first aeroplane to be designed with a retractable undercarriage.

The first woman pilot in British civil aviation, Miss Edith Maud Cook, learns to fly in Blériot monoplanes at the Grahame White School at Pau in France. She uses the pseudonym ‘Miss Spencer Kavanagh’ and, using the name ‘Violet Spenser’, is also a well known parachute-jumper. She is killed in July 1910 during a display from a captive balloon at Coventry.