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Sir George Cayley, sixth baronet (1773–1857) by Henry Perronet Briggs, 1840 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cayley, Sir George, sixth baronet (1773–1857), aeronautical designer, was born on 27 December 1773 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, the only son of Sir Thomas Cayley (1732–1792), and his wife, Isabella Seton (d. 1828); there were also four daughters. After brief schooling in York...

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Samuel Franklin Cody (1861–1913) by unknown photographer, 1912 [at the controls of his aeroplane Cathedral] Getty Images

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Cody [formerly Cowdery], Samuel Franklin (1861–1913), showman and aeronautical designer, was born on 6 March 1861 in Davenport, Iowa, USA, the fourth of five children of Samuel Franklin Cowdery (1833–1902), a former Union soldier and jobbing carpenter, and his wife, Phoebe Jane (1834–1900)...

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Collar, (Arthur) Roderick (1908–1986), mathematician and aeronautical engineer, was born on 22 February 1908 in West Ealing, London, the second of three children and elder son of Arthur Collar, of Whitstable, Kent, who had a successful ironmonger's and builder's business, and his wife, ...

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Edwards, Sir George Robert (1908–2003), aircraft designer and industrialist, was born on 9 July 1908 at 12 The Parade, Highams Park, Walthamstow, Essex, the son of Edwin George Edwards (1872–1938), a tobacconist and confectioner, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth (1872–1908), daughter of Robert Freeman...

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Sir George Robert Edwards (1908–2003) by Godfrey Argent © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Eilmer (b. c. 985, d. after 1066), pioneer of man-powered flight, was probably born in the 980s, dying not long after 1066. He was a monk of Malmesbury and all that is known of him is told by his fellow-monk William of Malmesbury...

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Green, Gustavus (1865–1964), aero-engine designer, was born in Hounslow, Middlesex, on 11 March 1865. He subsequently took the surname of his stepfather, Samuel Green. At the age of about sixteen he moved to Hastings where he was in turn a jeweller and a hairdresser; in 1897 he moved to ...

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Havilland, Sir Geoffrey de (1882–1965), aircraft and aero-engine designer and manufacturer, was born at Magdala House, Terriers Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, on 27 July 1882, second of three sons of the Revd Charles de Havilland (1854–1920) and his first wife, Alice Jeannette (1854–1911), daughter of ...

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Sir Geoffrey de Havilland (1882–1965) by Sir Oswald Birley, 1940 reproduced with permission of BAE Systems plc

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Hopkinson, Bertram (1874–1918), mechanical and aeronautical engineer, was born on 11 January 1874 at Woodlea, Birmingham, the eldest son of John Hopkinson FRS (1849–1898), electrical engineer, and his wife, Evelyn Oldenbourg. His father was himself the son of an engineer. He attended St Paul's School, London...

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Miles, Frederick George (1903–1976), aircraft designer and manufacturer, was born on 22 March 1903 in Worthing, Sussex, the oldest of the four sons of Frederick G. Miles, laundry proprietor of Portslade, Shoreham Harbour, Sussex, and his wife, Esther, née Wicks. He left school in ...

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Morgan, Sir Morien Bedford (1912–1978), aeronautical engineer, was born on 20 December 1912 at Caroline Street, Bridgend, Glamorgan, the elder son (there were no surviving daughters) of John Bedford Morgan (1883–1961), draper, and his wife, Edith Mary Thomas (1884–1960), teacher. He was educated at ...

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O'Gorman, Mervyn Joseph Pius (1871–1958), electrical and aircraft engineer, was born in Ireland on 19 December 1871, the son of Edmund A. O'Gorman of Harrogate, Yorkshire. After attending Downside School he read classics and science at University College, Dublin, before proceeding, in 1891, to the ...

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Page, Sir Frederick Handley (1885–1962), aircraft designer and manufacturer, was born on 15 November 1885 at 141 Cranham Villa, Cheltenham, the second child in a family of four sons and one daughter of Frederick Joseph Page, master upholsterer and an active member of the ...

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See Paget, Sir Richard Arthur Surtees, second baronet

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Pateman, Jack Edward (1921–2004), aviation engineer and businessman, was born on 29 November 1921 in West Somerton, Norfolk, the son of William Edward Pateman, head gamekeeper, and his wife, Lucy Varley, née Jetten. After attending Great Yarmouth grammar school he served in the ...

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Perring, William George Arthur (1898–1951), aerodynamicist and government scientist, was born on 16 December 1898 in Gillingham, Kent, the eldest son of John Richard Brooking Perring, a shipwright, and his wife, Alice Johns, both formerly of Devon. In 1913 he commenced a seven-year apprenticeship at the ...

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William George Arthur Perring (1898–1951) by Bassano, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London