June 2008 Celebration

Celebrated AV Roe's first hops at Brooklands, June 1908 The Centenary of Aviation at Brooklands was held on Saturday, 7th June 2008. A Garden Party took place during the day culminating in an air display celebrating the first hops by A.V. Roe in his biplane on the main straight on 8th June 1908 as part of his flight trial in Spring and Summer 1908.

The celebrations echoed the sentiments expressed on the tablet which was unveiled by Sir Alliott Verdon-Roe in June 1958 at the fiftieth anniversary celebration: 'From this area on various dates from 1907 to 1908 A.V. Roe made a series of towing flights and flight trials in aircraft of his own design and construction. These trials were made along the finishing straight of the motor racing track on this site. A.V. Roe thus became the first of a long line of famous pilots and pioneers of many nations who made air history on this flying field at Brooklands'.


Along with displays of AV Roe memorabilia and an exhibition of Avro aviation art organised with the help of the well known aviation artist, Michael Turner, the event revealed the newly created Roe 1 Biplane built by a team of Brooklands volunteers led by Steve Green.


The replica is a full flyable version of A.V. Roe's original machine, an exact non-flying version was built by Mike Beach for the 80th anniversary, so it was considered important to make it both portable and fully operational. Steve Green used a 50hp engine which was tested on the back of an old Morris Minor. The spirit of Brooklands lives on!

The main air frame replaced the original bamboo poles with aluminium tubing to comply with modern regulations. These were convincingly to simulate the look of bamboo. A replica of the original control wheel was cut out of a solid aluminium sheet, with the wood for the mahogany rim sourced from an old lavatory seat. A.V. Roe would have been proud.


The day was concluded with a dinner at the recently opened Mercedes-Benz World Centre. Some 400 people attended and and thanks should go to BAE Systems, Breitling, Brooklands Museum as well as Mercedes-Benz for their support. 

Building the Roe 1 Replica

Click image to open the gallery.

Mike Beach 1980 Roe 1 

  • Mike Beach 1980 Roe 1 

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