Brabazon Road, TW5

Place Name

Lieutenant-Colonel John Theodore Cuthbert Moore-Brabazon (February 8, 1884 – May 17, 1964) was a pioneer of aviation being the first Englishman to pilot a heavier-than-air machine under power in England. As a Conservative MP he went on to serve as Minister of Transport and Minister of Aircraft Production during World War II. He took his first solo flight in November 1908 in France in a Voisin biplane and five months later, on May 2, 1909 at Shellbeach on the Isle of Sheppey made the first officially recognised aeroplane flight in England. On March 8, 1910, he became the first person to qualify as a pilot in the United Kingdom and was awarded Royal Aero Club Aviator’s Certificate number 1. During the First World War he served on the Western Front where he played a key role in the development of aerial photography and reconnaissance. As a politician however he was a failure, like many, he was strongly opposed to war with Nazi Germany and in early 1939, when war seemed imminent, made contact with the fascist Oswald Mosley in an attempt to coordinate activity against the war. Despite this he was made Minister of Aircraft Production, a short-lived post, since a year after taking it he had to resign for expressing the hope that Germany and the Soviet Union, then engaged in the Battle of Stalingrad, would destroy each other. The Soviet Union was an ally. Post war he was involved in the production of the Bristol Brabazon. It was meant to be the pride of post-war British engineering, a world class Transatlantic aeroplane aimed to poach wealthy passengers from the liners. However not long after it was completed and took to the skies for test flights in 1949 it was obsolete and none were ordered. Until the 1940s this was farmland and development started at the end of the Second World War. This road, along with those that it encircles, was named after the aviators and their aircraft, in a nod to Heston Aerodrome that was previously located nearby.

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