John Moore-Brabazon, 1st Baron Brabazon of Tara

John Moore-Brabazon, 1st Baron Brabazon Of Tara

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John Moore-Brabazon, 1st Baron Brabazon of Tara

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John Theodore Cuthbert Moore-Brabazon, 1st Baron Brabazon of Tara, GBE, MC, PC (8 February 1884 – 17 May 1964) was an English aviation pioneer and Conservative politician. He was the first Englishman to pilot a heavier-than-air machine under power in England, and he served as Minister of Transport and Minister of Aircraft Production during World War II.

Early life

Moore-Brabazon was born in London to Lieutenant-Colonel John Arthur Henry Moore-Brabazon (1828–1908) and his wife, Emma Sophia (d. 1937). He was educated at Harrow School before reading engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge, but did not graduate. He spent university holidays working for Charles Rolls as an unpaid mechanic, and became an apprentice at Darracq in Paris after leaving Cambridge. In 1907 he won the Circuit des Ardennes in a Minerva.

Pioneer aviator

He learned to fly in 1908 in France in a Voisin biplane. He became the first resident Englishman to make an officially recognized aeroplane flight in England on 2 May 1909 on the Isle of Sheppey with flights of 450ft, 600ft, and 1500ft. On 4 May 1909 Moore-Brabazon had his picture taken outside of the aero club Mussel Manor, now known as Muswell Manor, alongside the Wright Brothers, the Short Brothers, Charles Rolls, and many other early aviation pioneers. In 1909 he sold his Voisin biplane, Bird of Passage to Arthur Edward George (who learned to fly in it at the Royal Aero Club's flying-ground at Shellbeach) and bought a Short Brothers...
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