Home » Frank McClean: The Godfather to British Naval Aviation by Philip Jarrett
Frank McClean: The Godfather to British Naval Aviation Philip Jarrett

Frank McClean: The Godfather to British Naval Aviation

Philip Jarrett

Published June 19th 2014
ISBN : 9781306876773
ebook
183 pages
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 About the Book 

During aviation s pioneering years Francis Kennedy McClean used his vast inherited wealth to help the now famous Short Brothers company become established as one of Britain s greatest aircraft manufacturers and, in doing so, he helped the Royal NavyMoreDuring aviation s pioneering years Francis Kennedy McClean used his vast inherited wealth to help the now famous Short Brothers company become established as one of Britain s greatest aircraft manufacturers and, in doing so, he helped the Royal Navy s first pilots into the air. In effect, he was Godfather to British naval aviation. But McClean did much more than even that. He was himself a balloonist and pioneer aviator, flying with Wilbur Wright in France in December 1908. He provided the Royal Aero Club with one of the first flying grounds in the UK- personally purchased no fewer than sixteen aeroplanes from Short Brothers before the First World War, and also acted as the company s unpaid test pilot. Convinced that aviation was destined to play a vital role in the nation s defence, he made his own aeroplanes freely available for training and ensured that the Navy had a suitable site from which to fly, founding England s first naval flying school, at Eastchurch in Kent. His flight up the Thames to Westminster on 10 August 1912, during which he flew between the upper and lower spans of Tower Bridge and passed beneath the other bridges, caught the public imagination, but despite all these achievements he remained unassuming, modest and reticent. This is a fascinating and informative account of McClean s great influence on early aviation, and his achievements and significant contribution to naval aviation are revealed here for the first time.