Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Claude Albemarle Bettington

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Lt. Claude Albemarle Bettington (1875-1912), early avaitor

1875 Born at Cape Colony and whose family were from New Zealand. After learning to fly, Lt. Bettington transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.

Autumn army manoeuvers included the RFC for the first time. Bettington was paired with Edward Hotchkiss, Chief Test Pilot for the Bristol Aircraft Co. and a Lt. in the Reserve, flying one of Bristol’s latest machines – a ‘Coanda’ Military Machine.

Taking-off from Larkhill at 07.00hrs on 10th September 1912 they flew directly to Port Meadow, Oxfordshire which was the first stage. Arriving over Port Meadow at 2,000ft the plane started to glide around the field preparatory to landing. A quick-release catch holding a strap opened and the strap fractured a flying wire which whipped about, tearing a hole in the starboard wing. Fabric stripped off and control became impossible, the aircraft crashing to earth at Lower Wolvercote, 120 yards short of Port Meadow.

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Sources of Information

  • [1] Hunmanby Archives