Aero Club of the United Kingdom

From Inventing aviation
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The official date of the founding of the Aero Club of the United Kingdom is given as 29 Oct. 1901. At a general meeting of candidates for membership, held at the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland (4 Whitehall Court, Loindon S.W.) 3 Dec. 1901, those present adopted as the purpose of the club "the encouragement of ballooning as a sport and of aerial locomotion in all its forms and application." The first issue of the Gazette dates from that meeting. From 1905, ithe club ssued Aeronauts' Certificates for balloonists. The club was one of the eight national organizations that met in Paris 12-14 Oct. 1905 to put together the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI). Pursuant to agreement in 1909 with the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain and the Aerial League of the British Empire, the Aero Club of the United Kingdom would serve as the paramount body in all matters of sport and the development of the art of aeronautics in the United Kingdom. The name was changed to the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom, 15 Feb. 1910.

Said to be the idea of Frank Hedges Butler, his daughter Vera, and the Hon. Charles Rolls after they took a ballon flight with Stanley Spencer in 1901. Both men and women were admitted as members. Sir Vincent K. Barrington was president in 1903 at which time 224 members were reported. Membership in 1906 was 170. While the club did not possess balloon stores of its own, several of its members owned balloons. The weekly magazine Flight (Flight International since 1962), began publication 2 Jan. 1909 as the club's official journal and is still published today. From 19-27 March 1909, the first aero exhibition in England was held in Olympia by the Society of Motor Manufacturers under the auspices of the Aero Club. The Aero Club League, which see, was founded by the club no later than January 1909 and was open to non-members. 1909 Jane's reported a flying ground at Shellness, Sheppey.

1909 Jane's listed only as "Aero Club." There is an Aero Club, London, that published a Register of Members, 1902-1912. [This is probably the same organization, but need more research]

Affiliated with FAI on 14 Oct 1905 as founding member.

  • Address: Premises of the Royal Automobile Club, 119 Piccadilly, London, W. (at least 1903-1907); 166 Piccadilly, London, S.W. (1907-1910). Flying ground at Shellness, Sheppey (1909).
  • Cable address: Aeroplane, London (1906); Aerodom-London (or Aerodrome-London) (at least 1910-1920);
  • Phone: 2140 Gerrard (? Need to verify date); 1643 Mayfair (at least 1910-)


  • 2 L'Aeronautique 69 (1903)
  • Conference Internationale d'Aeronautique Proces-Verbaux, 12-14 Oct 1905
  • FAI Conference Statutaire Proces-Verbaux (1906-1910)
  • Pocket-Book of Aeronautics 442 (English ed., Jan. 1907)
  • 1:5 Aeronautics (NYC) 43 (1907)
  • 1:6 Aeronautics (NYC) 38 (1907)
  • 1908 Intl Motor Cyclopaedia YB 14, Geog. Trade Dir. 203
  • 1 Flight 55, 67, 147 (1909):
  • emails from the Club, July 2010
  • ACA annuals (1907-1910)
  • "Flight" Manual 13 (1910); National Union Catalog Pre-1956 Imprints
  • Gollin, The Impact of Air Power on the British People and Their Government, 1908-1914, p. 8 (1989)

Organization names Aero Club of the United Kingdom (for continuation, see Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom)
Entity type
Country Great Britain
City London
Affiliated with FAI
Scope National
Started aero 1901
Ended aero Still exists under 1910 name
Key people
Wikidata id