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Sir Alan Cobham's Flying Circus
The special exhibition, 'Sir Alan Cobham's Flying Circus: A Life of a Pioneering Aviator', opens today at the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon and runs until 11 September 2015. Sir Alan Cobham was a pioneering long-distance aviator and technical innovator who became famous for his exploits in the interwar years by making aviation accessible and popular throughout the world. Three Britannia Trophy plaques (above) were awarded to Alan Cobham for his extraordinary achievements in the years 1923, 1925 and 1926. The Britannia Trophy (below, left) is awarded by the Royal Aero Club to the most deserving aviator of that year. He won the trophy in 1923 for his 12,000 mile flight around Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. He won the trophy again in 1925 when he became the first person to fly to India and back in 1924-25. Cobham also won the trophy in 1926 for the third and final time when he became the first person to fly to Australia and back, for which he was knighted by King George V. As Sir Alan Cobham, he organised a series of flying tours of the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa which became affectionately known as ‘Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus’. These tours promoted aviation to the public (below, right, from the Royal Aero Club Collection) and were a source of inspiration for countless pilots in the Second World War. For more information about the exhibition, link to