Reginald Alfred Charles Brie's helicopter pilot's licence, 1947.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The first ever helicopter pilot's licence, isued to Lieutenant Colonel Reginald Alfred Charles Brie (b 1895). In 1942 Brie travelled as part of the British Aircraft Delegation to Washington DC, USA, to sell British-backed Cierva autogiros to the US Navy for anti-submarine operations. He became convinced of the future of the helicopter while attending a demonstration during his visit there. Brie's 'The Autogiro and how to fly it' was published in 1933.