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Sir Alan John Cobham (1894-1973), Pioneer aviator
Sitter in 28 portraits
Cobham joined the Royal Flying Corps aged twenty-three in 1917. After the war he worked for de Havilland as a test pilot, and made his name in long-distance flights to Cape Town, Rangoon and Australia, establishing air routes for Imperial Airways. In the 1930s he pioneered the development of in-flight refuelling, and set up a company to exploit the possibilities. As a taxi-pilot giving commercial 'joyrides', and through the air display company he set up in 1934, he spread interest in aviation and contributed to the popularisation of air travel.
by Jimmy Wilds, for Keystone Press Agency Ltd
bromide press print, 28 May 1947