'The London to Manchester Flight', 1910.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Chromolithograph by I E Delaspre showing a biplane above the London & North Western Railway line. In 1906, the Daily Mail offered a prize of £10,000 to the first aviator to succesfully fly from London to Manchester in les than 24 hours. The first to make an attempt was a British aviator, Claude Grahame-White, in a Farman biplane in April 1910. Although he failed, his attempt suggested that the prize was attainable. A French pilot, Louis Paulhan, also flying a Farman, took off from London on 27th April to make his own bid. Graham-White heard of Paulhan's attempt and set off again in pursuit. However, in spite of flying through the night, he experienced engine problems, and Paulhan arrived in Manchester at 5.32 pm the next day to win the prize.