100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Two Army Pilots Killed In Great Britain

Although the Wright Brothers first flew an airplane in 1903, the event was barely reported and it wasn’t until some very public demonstrations by the Wrights in France in 1908 that Flight was taken as a practical reality. Still, the governments of the world were hesitant and wanted to see the technology develop before they committed to this new innovation. The US Army became the first military organization to purchase a plane in July 1909. They had established the Areonautical Divison of the US Siganl Corp in 1907. The Royal Flying Corps established in Great Britain in May, 1912. Pilots would train and take flights taking off from Salisbury.

On September 10, 1912 Lieutenant Claude Bettington and his observer Second Lieutenant Edward Hotchkiss were flying around Shropshire, Oxford in support of army maneuvers. The were flying a Bristol Coanda Military Monoplane and planning to land on Port Meadow but crashed after a wire came loose and tore a hole in the fabric of the starboard wing. Lt Bettington was flung to his death from the aircraft while Second Lt Hotchkiss died in the wreckage. Lt Bettington had served as a young officer with the Royal Artillery before joining the Royal Flying Corps while Second Lt Hotchkiss was Chief Test Pilot for the Bristol Aircraft Company.

Lieutenant Claude Bettington


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