Gordon Pirie
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Route reconnaissance
in Air empire
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Alan Cobham had no difficulty raising the extra money from the aeronautical industry that grasped the propaganda value of a flight by the Director of Civil Aviation. Within nine months of his Asian tour with Sefton Brancker, Cobham set out on his first African flight. Cobham's return to Britain from Australia on the first day of October 1926 was scripted perfectly. In April 1927, the same month that the Royal Air Force (RAF) flew Brancker from Egypt to Tanganyika and back to drum up support for an East African air service, Cobham was making plans to fly round the world. Cobham denied his bravery and argued that, on the contrary, his flights had been made to stress the safety of civil aviation. Individual pilots attracted attention to themselves, but in Cobham's view, it was a displaced affection.

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Air empire

British imperial civil aviation, 1919–39


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