Statue of the three Short brothers, Leysdown, Isle of Sheppey, Kent.
Britain's first aircraft manufacturers, Horace, Eustace and Oswald Short achieved many firsts in aeronautics. They designed and built the first British-powered aircraft to complete a circular flight of a mile and created Britain's first-ever purpose-built aircraft factory on an aerodrome on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent. Their pioneering work on the stressed skin principle of aircraft construction immediately after the First World War was also acknowledged by the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors.
The two younger brothers, Eustace and Oswald, began their careers as showman-aeronauts. In 1901 they built their first balloon, and in October 1903 they received their first contract to construct balloons for two military observation balloons for the Government of India. There is still a Shorts Aeronautics company, now based in Belfast.
I have no particular interest in the Short brothers or aeronautics in general, but the statue, which incidentally is uncredited, caught my eye during my 6 minute visit to Leysdown.
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