Mr. Eric C. Gordon-England (aged 83), early aviator and racing driver (part 1)

Scope and Content

Interviewed by Dr. Kenneth Richardson. Born in Argentina in 1891, the son of British parents George and Amy England. Came to England aged 10, and educated at New College, then started an engineering apprenticeship with the Great Northern Railway works at Doncaster. In 1908 he left for his first job in aviation, working as an assistant to aviator Noel Pemberton Billing at South Fambridge in Essex. While working for Pemberton Billing he met José Weiss, who designed and built tailless gliders, and became an assistant to Weiss. On 27 June 1909, he flew a Weiss glider that reached a height of 100 feet. Taught himself to fly at Brooklands, where he met Hugh Lock-King, and gained Pilot Certificate No. 68. Designed the Bristol Challenger-England. Between 1913 and 1916, employed as a test pilot and consultant engineer to a number of aircraft constructors, mainly on the south coast of England. In 1919, became interested in motor racing. 49 minutes.