Claude Grahame-White

Claude Grahame-White

Claude Grahame-White (1879 - 1959)

Claude Grahame-White learned to fly in 1909 in France. He became one of the first Englishmen to qualify as a pilot. Within a year, he was competing in the London to Manchester air race, for which the Daily Mail had offered a prize of £10,000 - a huge sum of money in those days. Despite experiencing engine trouble and losing the race to Louis Paulhan, Grahame-White had the distinction of making the first night flight in Britain. Later in 1910, he went on an aviation tour in America, where he scooped most of the prizes. This included the Gordon Bennett Aviation Cup, for which was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club.

On his return, Grahame-White purchased 200 acres of land and established a flying school at Hendon, which quickly became Hendon Aerodrome. The Aerodrome was purchased by the RAF in 1925, after which Grahame-White lost his interest in aviation, eventually moving to Nice, where he died in 1959.

Grahame-White Albums

The Royal Aero Club Collection includes over 50 Press Cutting Albums about the career of Claude Grahame-White. These include 14 albums covering his American Tour, plus seven albums about the London to Manchester air race.

The albums themselves are available for viewing by prior appointment in the Reading Room run by the Archive and Library of the Royal Air Force Museum, Grahame Park Way, Hendon, London NW9 5LL. Click here for the Reading Room Opening Hours.

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