Hubert Latham, French pioneer pilot, c 1909.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph of Hubert Latham (1883-1912) at the controls of one of his aeroplanes. After completing his military service in France, Latham and his cousin Jacques Faure travelled acros the English Channel in a air balloon, inspiring Latham to compete to be the first person to fly acros the English Channel in a monoplane. After failing in his first attempt Latham was beaten by the French aviator Louis Bleriot in 1909. The same year Latham won a trophy for achieving the highest altitude in a monoplane. He also set the world record for staying aloft in a monoplane for the longest time by lasting an hour and seven minutes. In 1812 Latham was killed by a wild buffalo whilst out hunting in Africa.