Farman flying the first European full circle, Issy, France, 13 January 1908.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Henry Farman, the son of the Paris correspondent of the London Standard, took up flying after deciding it would be safer then racing motorcycles or cars. He became associated with the Voisin brothers, designers and builders of aeroplanes, and later became well known for his skill in handling the machines. On 13 January 1908, Farman made aviation history when he completed the first circular kilometre flight in Europe at Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris. Farman's achievement won him a prize of 50,000 French Francs, and was highly significant for the viability of aviation as a means of transport as it was the first successful demonstration of steering by an aeroplane.