A piece of aviation history, or history in the making at Aurangabad !!

Any Guess how it all started in Aurangabad!!

First flight in Aurangabad City started in the year 1911. !!!

In that year the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company, in order to demonstrate the new art to the General Staff in India, sent out to Calcutta an expedition consisting of a manager, the French pilot Monsieur H. Jullerot, two British mechanics, and three Bristol box-kites fitted with 50 horse-power Gnome engines. The first aeroplane was erected on the Calcutta racecourse, and flew in the presence of a huge crowd of spectators.

There were cavalry manures that year in the Deccan, and General Rimington, who was organizing them, set aside a part of his maneuver grant to enable Captain Brancker to bring an aeroplane and take part in them.

The aeroplane arrived at Aurangabad early in January 1911,. Perhaps world’s first reconnaissance flights took place in it on January 15 and 16. The Boxkite was assembled in open ground next to the Aurangabad railway station and was hastily erected under a tree by the two mechanics, assisted by six willing and jocular privates of the Dublin Fusiliers. It was ready forty-eight hours after detrainment, just in the nick of time. The first flight was made by M. Jullerot and Captain Brancker, the day before the manœuvres began, in the presence of twelve generals, one of whom was Sir Douglas Haig, at that time Chief of the Staff in India, and a numerous company of staff (p. 422) officers. Next morning the aeroplane was attached to the northern force at Aurangabad, whose task was to drive back the rearguard of a southern force retreating towards Jalna. Captain Brancker and M. Jullerot made a flight of about twenty-seven miles at a height of 1,100 feet, and the hostile rearguard was accurately located. A full report was in the hands of the commander of the northern force in less than an hour and a half from the time of his demand for information.

Subsequent flights were less successful; indeed, the next morning the aeroplane crashed from a height of a hundred feet; the two aviators escaped with a few scratches, but the machine was reduced to matchwood. Nevertheless, the first thorough performance by a military aeroplane of a really practical military mission deeply impressed General Sir O’Moore Creagh, the then Commander-in-Chief, and, had it not been for lack of money, he would have started a flying organization in India a year before the Flying Corps in England came into being.

(Extracts from: The Project Gutenberg e-Book of The War in the Air, Vol_ 1; Author Walter Raleigh.)
Note : Aurangabad was then part of Nizam’s Hyderabad & thus the event is part of Hyderabad’s avaition history too.

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