2009 is the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight by a Briton in Britain, accomplished by JTC Moore-Brabazon from the airfield of the Aero Club at Leysdown on the Isle of Sheppey, during the weekend of 30th April - 2nd May 1909.
The exploits of Moore-Brabazon, Charles Rolls, T.O.M. Sopwith, Cecil Grace and many others, centred on the Aero Club’s airfields at Leysdown and Eastchurch, and on the aeroplane factories of the Short Brothers, briefly established Sheppey at the centre of aviation in Britain. This status was confirmed by Sheppey’s selection as the site of both the 1911 Gordon Bennett International Air Race, and of the first naval flying school.
Sheppey’s central role in the development of aviation has been neglected in the past, and several celebrations are being planned there during the course of 2009 to bring its rich heritage to the attention of a wider audience.
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