54 Squadron RAF cover signed by Sir Tom Sopwith, legendary designer of the Great War fighter aircraft the 'Sopwith Camel' which is illustrated on the front of the wonderful commemorative envelope.
Sir Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith, CBE, Hon FRAeS (18 January 1888 – 27 January 1989) was an English aviation pioneer and yachtsman.
Sopwith became interested in flying after seeing John Moisant flying the first cross-Channel passenger flight. His first flight was with Gustave Blondeau in a Farman at Brooklands. He soon taught himself to fly on a Howard Wright Avis monoplane and took to the air on his own for the first time on 22 October 1910. He crashed after travelling about 300 yards (275 m), but soon improved, and on 22 November was awarded Royal Aero Club Aviation Certificate No. 31, flying a Howard Wright 1910 Biplane.
On 18 December 1910, Sopwith won a ?4000 prize for the longest flight from England to the Continent in a British-built aeroplane, flying 169 miles (272 km) in 3 hours 40 minutes. He used the winnings to set up the Sopwith School of Flying at Brooklands.
In June 1912 Sopwith with Fred Sigrist and others set up The Sopwith Aviation Company. The company produced more than 18,000 British World War I aircraft for the allied forces, including 5747 of the famous Sopwith Camel single-seat fighter. Sopwith was awarded the CBE in 1918.
Great War aircraft designer Tom Sopwith signed cover
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