More Lancashire aviation firsts and facts
Alliott Verdon Roe was the first Englishman to build and fly his own plane. Born in Eccles in 1877, the bi-plane he built in 1908 flew 75 feet. He went on to be a successful aviator and plane designer and some of his aircraft were used as bombers in World War One.
The UK’S first official aviation meeting was held on the site of Blackpool Airport in October 1909. 200,000 people watched and Frenchman Henri Farman won a £2000 prize for flying circuits totalling 47 miles without touching the ground. AV Roe had been due to be first to take off but his plane wouldn’t start.
In 1919, Britain’s first scheduled air service began from a private airfield in Manchester to Birkdale Sands in Southport and on to South Shore, Blackpool.
The Lancaster Bomber was built by Roe’s company Avro. It was the RAF’S most successful bomber in World War Two. 7,377 were built and they flew more than 156,000 sorties.