The first pilot to land an aircraft on a moving ship, Cdr Edwin Harris Dunning is being remembered on the second of August on the 100th anniversary of the landing of the Sopwith Pup on the deck of HMS Furious in Scapa Flow at the dawn of carrier aviation.
After this historic landing, his father, Sir Edwin Dunning, received a letter from the Admiralty
“The Admiralty wish you to know what a great service he performed.It was in fact a demonstration of landing an aeroplane on the deck of a man-of-war whilst the latter was underway. This had never been done before and the data obtained is of the utmost value. It will make aeroplanes indispensable and possibly revolutionise naval warfare.”
This significant achievement pioneered carrier aviation and changed the face of naval battle, a century later in the ‘Year of the Carrier’, the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth has been launched.