'Fighting the Storm', Hubert Latham's 'Antoinette' at Blackpool, 1909.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Chromolithograph showing an Antoinette monoplane piloted by Hubert Latham flying above open countryside near Blackpool. Latham was taking part in the first officially recognised aviation meeting to be held in Britain, the Blackpool Flying Week, which took place in October 1909. One of the highlights of the event was a flight Latham made in winds of almost 40 mph, conditions which aviators until then had believed made flying excesively dangerous if not imposible. Earlier in 1909, Latham had been the first to attempt to fly acros the English Channel but, after two unsuccesful attempts, saw Louis Bleriot claim the £1000 prize offered by the Daily Mail for the first succesful cros-channel flight.