|Roe I Biplane|
|The Roe I biplane, with A. V. Roe standing at left, in its shed at Brooklands, 1908 - the front of the aircraft is at the right|
|Manufacturer||Alliott Verdon Roe|
|Designed by||Alliott Verdon Roe|
|First flight||8 June 1908|
The Roe I Biplane (often later referred to as the Avro Biplane) was the first powered aircraft to be designed, built, and flown in England. Designed in an attempt to claim a prize offered by the Brooklands Automobile Racing Club, it was the brainchild of Alliott Verdon Roe, who based it on a powered model with which he had won a Daily Mail prize of £75 at Alexandra Palace in April 1907. This prize was substantially larger — the club committee was putting up £2,500 for the first person to fly a circuit of their race track by the end of the year.
The Roe I Biplane was originally fitted with a 9 hp (7 kW) JAP engine, but its power proved insufficient to get the craft airborne, and 1907 slipped by with nobody able to claim the prize. Nevertheless, Roe continued work on his aircraft, borrowing a French Antoinette engine of 24 hp (18 kW) to use instead. With this motor, Roe was able to make several short hops in this aircraft, the first on 8 June 1908. Before anything further could be achieved, the aircraft was damaged beyond repair when Brooklands race track attendants dropped it while while they were lifting it over a fence.
In 1988, a non-flying replica was constructed for the 80th anniversary of Roe's first flight and is displayed at the Brooklands Museum. As of 2007, a flying replica is under construction for the museum, in anticipation of the flight's centenary.
Data from Avro Aircraft since 1908