Royal Aero Club

Awards & Trophies


The gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded annually for outstanding achievement in aviation during the preceding year or over a number of years, principally, but not necessarily, as a pilot.

1908 Wilbur & Orville Wright
for their first successful controlled powered flight.
1909 Louis Bleriot
for his first successful crossing of the English Channel.
1909 Henry Farman
for winning the prize for the first 1 km circular flight. Based in France, he was the first British citizen to fly successfully.
1909 Hubert Latham
for his meritorious flight at Blackpool. He also established the first formal height record of 508 ft in August 1909.
1910 Hon. Charles Rolls
for his first double-crossing of the English Channel, which was also the first East-bound crossing.
1910 Charles S. Grace
for his achievements as a pilot and competitor (posthumously).
1910 Claude Graham-White
for winning the Gordon Bennett Aviation Cup.
1911 No award
1912 S.F. Cody
for winning the military aeroplane competition.
1913-18 No award
1919 Capt. Sir John Alcock & Lt. Sir Arthur Whitten Brown
for the first successful non-stop trans-Atlantic flight.
1919 Capt. Sir Ross & Sir Keith Smith
for their flight from England to Australia.
1920-22 No award
1923 Lt. Col. S.F. McClean
in recognition of his pioneer work in aviation.
1924-25 No award
1926 A.J. Cobham
in recognition of his work for British aviation.
1927-28 No award
1929 Capt. C.D. Barnard
for his flight from England to India and return.
1929 Sqn. Ldr. A.C. Jones-Williams & Flt Lt. N.H. Jenkins
for their flight from Cranwell to Karachi.
1930 No award
1931 H.J.L. Hinkler
for his flight from New York to London via South America.
1932-33 No award
1934 C.W.A. Scott & T. Campbell Black
for their victory in the England-Australia Air Race.
1935 No award
1936 Amy Mollison
for her many long-distance Empire flights.
1937 Jean Batten
for her many long-distance Empire flights.
1938-46 No award
1947 G.R. de Havilland
for his services to aviation (posthumously).
1948 J.D. Derry
for being the first British pilot to exceed the speed of sound.
1949-51 No award
1952 P.A. Wills
for his victories at the World Gliding Championships.
1953 W.Cdr W.F. Gibb
for breaking the world aeroplane height record.
1953 Sqn Ldr N. Duke
for breaking the world aeroplane speed record.
1953 Lt Cdr M.J. Lithgow
for breaking the world aeroplane speed record.
1954 No award
1955 John Cunningham
for his work for British aviation.
1956-57 No award
1958 Lord Brabazon of Tara
for his services to aviation.
1959-62 No award
1963 Sir G. de Havilland
for his work for British aviation.
1964 J. Martin
for inventing and developing of the ejector seat, which has saved many lives of military pilots..
1965-66 No award
1967 Sir Denning Pearson
for his services to Rolls-Royce engines for over 50 years.
1968 No award
1969 N.A. Armstrong, E.E. Aldrin, M. Collins
first astronauts to land on the Moon and return to Earth.
1970 No award
1971 Sheila Scott
for being the first pilot to fly over the North Pole in a light aircraft.
1972 No award
1973 A.S. Butler
for his 50 years of service to the de Havilland Aircraft Company.
1974 Julian Nott
for his World record of 46,000 ft in a hot air balloon with a pressurised cabin.
1975 No award
1976 George Lee
for his many victories in National and International Gliding Championships.
1977 No award
1978 Don Cameron & Christopher Davey
for their gallant attempt at crosssing the Atlantic by balloon.
1979 No award
1980 Judith Chisholm
for breaking over 70 point-to-point international air records in a single-engined aircraft.
1981-83 No award
1984 C. Lyall
for saving the life of an unconcious fellow parachutist by a skilful free-fall interception.
1985 No award
1986 J. Pendry
1986 D. Rutan & J. Yeager
1987 E. Jackson
1987 B. Spreckley
1988 P. Lindstrand
1989 R. Whittall
1990 Helen Sharman
1991 R. Branson & P. Lindstrand
1991 R. Brien
1991 R. Whittall
1992 No award
1993 A. Davis
1993 M. Peckett
1994 M. Foale
1994 P. Halman
1995 Judy Leden.
Judy Leden won the Women's World Champion title at the 1995 FAI Open Paragliding World Championships in Kyusha, Japan and contributed to the Silver Medal gained by the British Team.
1996 David Bareford.
David Bareford is the United Kingdom's most successful balloon pilot and one of the best in the world. He has won two European Championships, four British Nationals and placed second or third in eight more. In 1981 he was ranked second in the world. He is the first British pilot to be awarded a diamond badge to add to his gold.
1996 Ann Welch.
Ann Welch set up the Surrey Gliding Club in 1936 and flew Spitfires with the ATA. She served for many years at the top level of international gliding as a competitor and administrator. She has passionately campaigned for both traditional and less conventional forms of flying within and outside the Royal Aero Club and the FAI. She set up and was president of two new FAI commissions, for hang gliding and paragliding, and for microlights. Ann is President of Honour of both commissions, and President of the BHPA and the BMAA.
1997 John Pendry.
John Pendry has been at the top of air-sport since 1985. Firstly in hang gliding, in which he has won more competitions than any other individual. Then later in paragliding where he won both the World Paragliding Championships and the paragliding World Cup in Spain in 1997.
1997 Walter Neumark.
Walter Neumark served paragliding for over thirty years. He advocated soaring with foot-launched ultra-light back-pack gliders in 1953. He was the pioneer of paragliding, the founder of the sport's national governing body and a tireless worker within the RAeC and the FAI. His originality, foresight and commitment have helped to bring the joy of soaring flight to tens of thousands.
1998 Jackie Smith.
Jackie Young (formerly Jackie Smith) has been Britain's most successful parachute competitor. She has won 37 gold medals and 9 silvers, in individual free-fall Style and in team competitions. When winning the World Championship in 1978, she is the only person ever to have achieved ten dead centres. She has retired from top-level competition, but for many years has continued to make a valuable contribution as a coach at Netheravon.
1999 A. Elson &C. Prescott.
Andy Elson and Colin Prescott flew the Cable & Wireless balloon in an attempt at a round-the-world flight, achieving a flight from Spain to Japan in 17 days. Though subsequently overtaken by the Breitling Orbiter 3, they established a World record for unrefulled duration in any sub-orbital flying machine.
2000 D. Hempleman-Adams.
In May 2000, David Hempleman-Adams made a solo flight in a Cameron Roziere balloon and succeeded in his target of passing within 60 miles of the North Pole. As well as enduring a flight of 5 days, over the Arctic in an open wicker basket, this showed considerable skill in weather judgement.
2001 R. Meredith Hardy.
Since acquiring his microlight licence in 1984 Richard Meredith-Hardy has successfully competed both nationally and internationally. He organised, funded and flew the Trans Africa Microlight Expedition. Richard has appeared in many aviation films. He co-ordinated the largest mass crossing of the Channel during the Paris-London-Paris Rally in 1993 and organised and participated in the Great Adventure Microlight race from Madrid to London. He also serves as Secretary of the Association of Microlight Professionals and is a member of BMAA Council.
2002 S.Fossett.
Steve Fossett has made seven attempts at flights round the world by balloon. Some of his earlier attempts achieved more than half-way and established World records. This culminated in the successful flight of the Breitling Orbiter 3 in 1999. He followed this in 2002 with the first solo circumnavigation, using a similar envelope to the Orbiter but with an unpressurised gondola, again made by Cameron's in the UK. This flight took 14 days, operating mainly between 25,000 and 35,000 feet.
2002 Caroline Gough-Cooper & Imogen Asker.
Caroline Gough-Cooper & Imogen Asker won the Ladies Championship at the 2002 World Helicopter Championships. They overturned a dominance of this event by Eastern-bloc crews since its inception in 1971.
2002 Kathleen Rigg.
Kathleen Rigg started hang-gliding in 1986 and has been the UK women's champion seven times. She is the current European Women's Champion and won a Gold Medal at the 2001 World Air Games in Spain. She has been very active as a coach and competition organiser. She has served on the BHPA competitions panel for many years, and has been UK team manager at recent competitions as well as competing.
2003 Paul Dewhurst.
Paul Dewhurst has been representing Britain in international Microlight competitions since 1989. He has won ten Medals including six Golds, having been European Champion twice and World Champion four times. Uniquely, these Gold Medals include all four microlight classes, single and two-seat flex-wing and single and two-seat fixed-wing. He is CFI of the Flylight Microlight School at Sywell and is an Examiner and Test Pilot, with over 8000 hours logged. He is Vice-Chairman of the BMAA Council and Chairman of its Training Committee.
2003 The V-Max Parachute Team.
The V-max Team is the British Women's 4-way Formation Skydiving Team, comprising of Claire Scott, Liz Groucott, Sacha Chilton and Sarah Laughton, with Andy Ford as team camera flyer. They won the World Cup competitions in 2000 in Australia and 2002 in Spain. They then went on to win the 2003 World Championships at Gap, against the biggest ever field for a Women's FS competition.
2004 Russell Cheetham.
Russell Cheetham started gliding in 1985 and flew his first competition in 1989. He won the UK Open Class Nationals in 2003 and became the European Open Class Champion in 2004. In June 2004 he achieved the first FAI 1000 km Diploma to be flown in Britain, starting and finishing at Husbands Bosworth in Leicestershire and with turns on the Suffolk coast twice and in Wales.
2005 Dr Vijaypat Singhania.
Vijaypat Singhania is an Indian who has had a life-long interest in aviation. He has been flying for 40 years and has more than 5,000 flying hours. In 1988 he made a solo flight in a microlight from the U.K. to India. In 1994 he won the first Round-the-World Air Race, receiving the FAI Gold Medal. On 26th November 2005 he achieved the world altitude record for hot air balloons. He flew in a pressurised gondola containing life-support systems and carrying special burners designed to function in the rarefied atmosphere. He reached 69,852 feet, beating the previous record by nearly 5,000 feet.
2006 Phil Jones.
Phil Jones won the Gold Medal at the 2006 World 18-metre Gliding Championships. He is an established member of the British Gliding Team and had previously won Bronze in 2003. He holds ten UK Gliding records, including the third-longest flight ever in the UK, and the longest in an 18-metre glider, of 982 km.
2007 Derek Piggott.
Derek Piggott's RAF service included flying Lancasters, Meteors and troop-carrying Gliders, and instructing at CFS. Since 1953, he has pursued a unique career. He has flown a wide variety of powered types, particularly aerobatic aircraft, and he flew WW-1 replicas in nine major cinema films. His main achievements have been in gliding. For over 50 years has made an outstanding contribution to instruction, including writing several books and papers, and making international lecture tours. He evaluated 180 glider types and produced handling notes for them. He has flown a variety of interesting one-offs, including the Cayley replica and the SUMPAC man-powered aircraft. He has taken part in many British and American competitions, including winning the British Glider Aerobatic Championships and setting several records. Though now over 80 years old, he is still flying competitively, writing articles and giving lectures.
2008 Claire Scott.
Claire Scott is the highest-achieving female skydiving champion the sport has ever known. She has won the World Championships five times in ten years as a member of the British Women's 4-way sky-diving teams V-max, Airkix and Bodyflight Storm. As a member of these teams, she has previously been awarded the RAeC Prince of Wales Cup twice and an RAeC Gold Medal in 2003, as well as several other individual awards. Claire is an instructor and coach, who is passing on her experience and skills to a new generation of top-level British skydivers.
2009 Freefly Team Volare.
Freefly Team Volare, consisting of Mike Carpenter, Adam Mattacola and Alberto Fuertes, have put British freeflying on to the world map. They again won the British Freefly National Championships in 2009, and were invited to represent Britain at the World Games in Chinese Taipei, where they took Bronze. Team Volare then went on to win Gold at the 2009 European Championships and World Cup in the Czech Republic, the first time any British team had won an artistic skydiving event.
2009 Keith Negal.
Keith Negal has been British Team Leader in four medal-winning World and European Microlight Championships. He has served as an FAI Steward, FAI Monitor and FAI Jury Member. He is also currently a Vice President both of FAI and of the RAeC. In 2009 Keith organised the Bleriot Memorial Flight in which over 200 British, French and Belgian microlights crossed the English Channel. Serving as BMAA Council Chairman for 10 years, Keith was instrumental in negotiating the new sub-115 kg class of microlights to allow owners more freedom. Keith formulated the idea of a European Microlight Federation and made it happen. The BMAA considers no-one has done more for microlighting in the UK than Keith.
2010 Peter Watson
Peter Watson of Birmingham Model Aircraft Club has been a member of the British teams at eleven World and European Free-Flight Championships, flying in the F1C engine-assisted glider class. At the European Championships he has contributed to several team medals and in 1994 won Gold. At the World Championships he was Silver Medallist in 1993 and in 2009 took Gold, the first time the event has been won by a British flyer since the 1950s. Peter has also served on the BMFA free-flight technical committee, both as a member and as chairman.
2011 David Hempleman-Adams & Jonathan Mason
David Hempleman-Adams and Jonathan Mason won the 2011 Americas Challenge Gas Balloon Race. Starting from Albuquerque in New Mexico, they eventually made a difficult night landing in a strong wind, finishing just 2km from the Canadian Border. They covered 1568 km in a flight time of 71 hours and 32 minutes, which was a duration record for the event.
2011 Ken Morrissey
Ken Morrissey was a member of UK Team for the F2A Control Line Model Speed competition at the 2011 FAI European Championships in Poland. This consists of four rounds of nine timed laps, and on each round Ken progressively raised the World Record. Eventually he increased it from 302.5 kph to 307.4 kph, an unprecedented margin in a sport where the top competitiors are usually only tenths apart.


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