100 Years Ago Today: King’s Cup Pilot, Alan Butler, Landed at Farncombe Estate

100 Years Ago Today: 10th September 1922

King’s Cup Pilot, Alan Butler, Landed at Farncombe Estate in his de Havilland Aeroplane

Alan S. Butler (left)

During the afternoon of Sunday 10th September 1922, pilot, Alan Samuel Butler, flew from the de Havilland aerodrome in London to Broadway, landing his de Havilland bi-plane in the grounds of Farncombe Estate where he spent the weekend.

Butler (1898-1897) was the first private aeroplane owner. In 1921, Butler asked Geoffrey de Havilland to build him an aircraft to his own specifications and the first DH37 was built, which Butler named ‘Sylvia’ after his sister. Butler was one of 13 pilots to finish in the first King’s Cup Race held on 8th and 9th September 1922. The 810 mile race from Croydon to Glasgow, and back again after an overnight stop, was established by King George V as an incentive to the development of aircraft and engine design.

Butler was so impressed with the de Haviland company that he helped the company financially with their venture into aircraft manufacture and was appointed Chairman in 1923, a role he held until 1950.

DH37 – only two were built, the second aircraft was sold to Australia