Royal Aero Club - Blog

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Gustav Hamel (1889-1914)
Gustav Hamel (below right) disappeared over the Channel on 23 May 1914 – 100 years ago today - while returning from Paris in a new 80 hp Morane-Saulnier monoplane he had just collected. A recent discovery in the archives of the Royal Aero Club Collection is one of the last letters he wrote before he set off to Paris. Although undated, the letter poignantly states “Am just off to Paris to bring my racer back.” This is a clear reference to the machine in which Hamel intended to take part in the Aerial Derby from Hendon, originally to be held on 23 May, but postponed to 6 June due to poor weather conditions. The letter itself was addressed to Bernard Isaac, one of the organisers of the Aerial Derby, with a request for tickets (example, below left, also from the RAeC Collection) for his sister and for a friend.