Britannia Trophy

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The Britannia Trophy is a British award presented by the Royal Aero Club for aviators accomplishing the most meritorious performance in aviation during the previous year.[1]

In 1911 Horatio Barber, who was a founder member of the Royal Aero Club, was given £100 for a commercial flight. Not wanting to tarnish his amateur status, he presented the money to the club for the trophy.[2]

The first award was presented in 1913 to Captain C.A.H Longcroft of the Royal Flying Corps for a non-stop flight from Montrose to Farnborough in a Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2a.[2] The trophy has not been awarded every year, particularly during the first and second world wars, and has been awarded jointly and to teams, as well as individuals.

In 1952 the Royal Aero Club presented plaques to all the surviving holders who previously only held the trophy for one year and were not given a permanent memento.[2]


Year Recipient Accomplishment Aircraft
1913 Cptn C.A.H. Longcroft, Royal Flying Corps Non-stop 445 miles, Montrose and Farnborough RAE B.E.2a
1914 Sqn Cdr J.W. Sedden, Royal Naval Air Service Non-stop flight of 325 miles, Isle of Grain to Plymouth Maurice Farman Seaplane
1915 - 1918 Not Awarded
1919 Cptn Sir John Alcock First trans-atlantic flight, (awarded posthumously) Vickers Vimy
1920 Lt H.J.L (Bert) Hinkler Non-stop flight of 650 miles, Croydon - Turin in 9 hr 35 minutes Avro Baby
1921 Not Awarded
1922 F. P. Raynham A soaring flight of 1hr 53 minutes from Firle
1923 Alan Cobham (later Sir Alan) A flying tour of the Middle east and North Africa covering 12,000 miles in 130 hours Airco DH.9C
1924 Wg Cdr Stanley Goble and Flt Lt Ivor McIntyre Circumnavigation of Australia Fairey III
1925 Alan Cobham London to Rangoon and return, 17,000 miles in 210 hours flight time de Havilland DH.50
1926 Sir Alan Cobham Empire route survey flight Rochester to Melbourne de Havilland DH.50J
1927 Lt R.R. Bentley London to Cape Town - 7,250 miles de Havilland DH.60 Moth
1928 Lt H.J.L (Bert) Hinkler First flight to Australia in a light aircraft. London to Darwin - 11,005 miles in 15 days Avro 581E Avian
1929 Hon. Dame Mary Bailey Return flight from Croydon to Cape Town, including a tour of South Africa - 18,000 miles de Havilland DH.60 Moth
1930 Sqn Ldr Charles Kingsford-Smith For two flights; a West bound trans-atlantic flight Dublin to Harbour Grace (Fokker) and Heston to Darwin (Avro) Fokker F.VIIb/3m and Avro 616 Avian IVA
1931 Lt H.J.L (Bert) Hinkler New York City to London via South America and the South Atlantic, 10,560 miles de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth
1932 Capt. C.F. Uwins Setting the Class C world altitude record height for aeroplanes of 43,976 ft Vickers Vespa
1933 J.A. Mollison A flight from Lympne to Port Natal, Brazil of 4,600 miles de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth
1934 C. W. A. Scott & T. Campbell Black For winning the speed section of the MacRobertson Air Race from Mildenhall to Melbourne de Havilland DH.88 Comet
1935 Jean Batten A flight from England to South America including the fastest solo South Atlantic crossing and, the first by a woman Percival Gull
1936 Jean Batten A flight from England to New Zealand, 14,000 miles Percival Gull
1937 Fg Off A.E. Clouston For two flights; the Istres (Marseilles) - Damascus - Paris race where he came fourth, and for a London - Cape Town flight of 45 hours with a return of 57½ hours de Havilland DH.88 Comet
1938 Sqn Ldr R. Kellett Record long distance flight from Ismailia to Darwin Vickers Wellesley
1939 Alex Henshaw Record return flight - London to Cape Town Percival Mew Gull
1940 - 1944 Not Awarded
1945 Grp Cpt H.J. Wilson World Speed Record of 606 mph (975 km/h) at Herne Bay Gloster Meteor IV
1946 Grp Cpt E.M. Donaldson World Speed Record of 606 mph (975 km/h) at Littlehampton Gloster Meteor IV
1947 Sqn Ldr H.B. Martin & Sqn Ldr E.B. Sismore London to Cape Town record in 21 hr 32 min at 279 mph (449 km/h) de Havilland Mosquito PR34 (a modified Mosquito with 1710 hp RR Merlin 113A engines for "dedicated photo-reconnaissance")
1948 Grp Cpt John Cunningham Class C Aeroplane height record at 59,445 ft (18,119 m) de Havilland Vampire (modified)
1949 Not Awarded
1950 P.A. Wills On the occasion of his fourth victory in the British National Gliding Championships
1951 Captain Oscar Philip Jones Senior British Overseas Airways Corporation pilot with 30 years as an airline Captain flying nearly 20,000 hours and covering over 3,000,000 mi (4,800,000 km)
1952 Wg Cdr R.P. Beaumont, Flt Lt P. Hillwood and Sqn Ldr D.A. Watson First double crossing of the Atlantic within 24 hours English Electric Canberra B5
1953 Sqn Ldr R.L.E. Burton & Flt Lt D.H. Gannon The winning of the speed section of the London to Christchurch, NZ race (approx 11,781 mi (18,960 km)) English Electric Canberra PR3
1954 Not Awarded
1955 Cpt J.W. Hackett and P.J. Moneypenny Records set for a return London - New York flight with a total time of 14 hr 22 mins English Electric Canberra PR7
1956 L.P. Twiss The world speed record of 1,132 mph (1,822 km/h). First flight officially timed at over 1,000 mph (1,600 km/h) Fairey Delta 2
1957 M. Randrup and W. Shirley Setting a height record (for Class C aircraft) of 70,300 ft (21,400 m) English Electric Canberra B2
1958 Grp Cpt John Cunningham & P. Bugge Development flying of the de Havilland Comet de Havilland Comet
1959 No. 111 Squadron RAF For aerobatic display formation works Hawker Hunter F6
1960 T.W. Brooke-Smith For the first vertical takeoff, transition to normal flight and vertical landing in this aircraft Short SC.1
1961 Anne and D. Burns For their achievements at the World Gliding Championships
1962 Not Awarded
1963 A.W. Bedford Achievements as Chief Test Pilot of the Hawker Aircraft Company, particularly in development of VTOL aircraft Hawker Siddeley P.1127 & Harrier
1964 Not Awarded
1965 The Red Arrows Meritorious service as an aerobatic team Folland Gnats
1966 Not Awarded
1967 Sheila Scott On the establishment of over 100 point-to-point international records Piper Comanche[citation needed]
1968 Sqn Ldr R.G. Hanna Leadership of The Red Arrows for three seasons Folland Gnat
1969 - 1972 Not Awarded
1973 D.P. Davies As Chief Test Pilot of the Air Registration Board, granting airworthiness certificates to commercial aircraft for many years
1974 - 1976 Not Awarded
1977 N. Todd, B. Walpole and S. Bolton The development, planning and flying of Concorde on its first supersonic trans-Atlantic passenger service Concorde
1978 Sqn Ldr D.G. Lee Twice winning the World Gliding Championships Schleicher ASW 17[3]
1979 Not Awarded
1980 Julian Nott World altitude record in a hot-air balloon of 55,134 ft (16,805 m) "Innovation" hot air balloon now on display in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Dulles Airport
1981 Sqn Ldr D. G. Lee A further three victories at the World Gliding Championships Schempp-Hirth Nimbus-3[4]
1982 - 1983 Not Awarded
1984 St John Ambulance air wing Outstanding service since 1972 by their team of 165 volunteer pilots in transporting over 700 heart and liver transplants with accompanying medical staff
1985 British Hang Gliding Team[clarification needed]
1986 J. Egginton & D. Clews The world sectional speed record for a helicopter 401 km/h (249 mph) Westland Lynx
1987 P. Lindstrand & R. Branson First trans-Atlantic crossing by hot air balloon, 3075 3,075 mi (4,949 km) in 31 hrs 41 mins. Virgin Atlantic Flyer
1988 Not Awarded
1989 British Hang Gliding Team[clarification needed]
1990 British Microlight Team[clarification needed]
1991 Not Awarded
1992 D. Cameron & R. Bayly The victory of the first trans-Atlantic balloon race, Maine to Portugal, 4,823 km (2,997 mi) in 124 hrs 34 min Cameron R-77 Rozière balloon
1993 - 1994 Not Awarded
1995 Chris Rollings and Chris Pullen The first 1,000 km (620 mi) glider flight in the UK. Schleicher ASH 25E
1996 Not Awarded
1997 David Bareford Twenty years of competition in hot air ballooning, British, European and World Champion and bronze medal at the World Air Games
1998 Brian Milton Round the world flight in a flex-wing microlight. This flight crossed 25 countries and took four months and 400 hours flying time Pegasus Quantum 912
1999 Brian Jones & Bertrand Piccard The first circumnavigation of the world by a free balloon, continuing for a further 4 days to complete 40,814 km (25,361 mi), an endurance of nearly 20 days Breitling Orbiter 3
2000 Jennifer Murray & Colin Bodill A microlight versus helicopter race around the globe in support of the charity Operation Smile Robinson R44 (Murray - helicopter) & Mainair Blade (Bodill - microlight)
2001 British Microlight Team[clarification needed] Winning the second World Air Games & eighth World Microlight Championships
2002 Not Awarded
2003 Andrew Davis Meritorious performances in competitions as a glider pilot, including being, from 1981, a member of the British Gliding Team for and unprecedented twelve World Championships
2004 Richard Meredith-Hardy Flying over Mount Everest in a weight-shift microlight Pegasus Quantum (with a turbo-charged Rotax 914 engine)
2005 David Hempleman-Adams A new World Altitude Record for open-basket hot-air airship (21,830 ft (6,650 m))
2006 Manuel Queiroz First British pilot to circumnavigate the world in a homebuilt aircraft Van's RV-6
2007 John Williams For developments in the field of gliding sports and the three longest UK glider flights, increasing the furthest distance flown in a day from 1,020 km (630 mi) to 1,540 km (960 mi)
2008 David Hempleman-Adams & Jonathan Mason Winners of the Gordon Bennett race
2009 Cpt Paul Bonhomme Winner of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship Zivko Edge 540
2010 Cpt Stephen Noujaim Breaking the London-Cape Town and return-trip records for aircraft under 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) Van's RV-7
2011 David Sykes First paraplegic to fly solo from England to Australia P&M Aviation Quik
2012 Gerald Cooper Meritorious performances in aerobatics culminating in 2012 becoming the European Unlimited Aerobatic Champion Xtreme Air XA-41
2013 Jon Hilton First flight by Microlight from Britain to Canada and returning to Britain Flight Design CTSW


  1. ^ "Royal Aero Club Awards and Trophies - The Britannia Trophy". Royal Aero Club. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "The Britannia Trophy Milestones In British Flying For Forty Years". Obituaries. The Times (52501). London. 22 December 1952. col F, p. 7.
  3. ^ "Flight International Archive". 29 December 1979. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  4. ^ "Flight International Archive". 18 December 1982. Retrieved 9 June 2012.

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