Aviation engineer Frank Whittle entered the Royal Air Force as an apprentice and rose through the ranks to become a pilot. He invented the jet engine, though his idea of a plane that could fly at a phenomenal speed was initially laughed at. He was later knighted for his achievements.
Aviation pioneer and aircraft designer Geoffrey de Havilland is best remembered for his double-engine warplane Mosquito and the jet airliner Comet. He was part of the Royal Flying Corps and had been knighted for his achievements. He was also the founder of the De Havilland Aircraft Company.
British engineer and inventor George Cayley was a pioneer of aeronautics and aviation. He designed the world’s first glider that could successfully carry a human being. He was also a prominent Whig and had contributed to the formation of what is now known as the University of Westminster.
Legendary RAF pilot Leonard Cheshire was not just famous for his exploits during World War II but was also a dedicated philanthropist. His heroic action of flying a burned bomber plane back safely won him a Distinguished Service Order. His charitable trust is now known as Leonard Cheshire Disability.
British-French motor racer, aviator, and aircraft manufacturer Maurice Farman was also a champion in tandem cycling. He and his brother, Henri, completed the world’s first circular flight of over 1km. He also made pioneering studies in aerial radiotelephony, while his company introduced the world’s first long-distance passenger plane, Goliath.