LOCAL MAN PAYS TRIBUTE TO RAF HISTORY
Mr Rob Cooper, from Northchurch in Hertfordshire, has paid tribute to the history of his local area by building a 1 to 8 scale, Bleriot model-aircraft. Mr Cooper (81) is a local furniture maker and aircraft enthusiast, whose father was an RAF Warrant Officer. Mr Cooper’s father first installed in him the love of aircraft and he followed that theme, when his national service came around, by joining the RAF.
Mr Cooper first came up with the idea of creating a model of the famous aircraft, after learning that it took off from Halton and made history by being the first ever British-military aircraft. The Bleriot took off from a field on the outskirts of Wendover, which has now become the famous RAF Halton, and was flown by Lieutenant Allen of 3 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. The aircraft was used as an observational platform, to gather vital intelligence for the Army during World War 1. The plane was built and designed by Louis Bleriot, who was the first man to fly over the English Channel, and, at the time, pioneered a machine that led the way for future aircraft used by the RAF and all over the world.
The model itself was hand built and all parts were put together as they would have been back in 1913 when the aircraft was first built. Mr Cooper went into fine detail, taking great care and effort in building the project that took almost a year after being commissioned by the RAF in July 2009.
When speaking to Mr Cooper he said that the model made him feel ‘massively proud’ and the end product was ‘hugely satisfying’. He also said that he was ‘ready for the next project’ and that he would be willing to take on another aircraft on behalf of the RAF.