A 1919 article from THE LITERARY DIGEST on the early 20th Century aviator Harry Hawker (1889 - 1921) following his failed attempt to "beat the Yankees" in crossing the Atlantic. Australian by birth, Hawker came to Britain specifically to seek a career in the infant aviation industry. In 1912, his wish was answered and he was employed by Tommy Sopwith. Hawker saved his wages to afford flying lessons and gained his flying permit in September 1912. The following month he won the British Michelin Cup with a grueling endurance flight of 8 hr, 23 min. Sopwith recognized talent when he saw it and Hawker was promoted to chief test pilot.
In 1913, Hawker broke the British altitude record in a Sopwith Tabloid and won the Mortimer Singer Prize, flying the amphibious Sopwith Bat Boat. He may also have been one of the first pilots to recover from an intentional spin, at Brooklands in June 1914. During the First World War, Hawker continued to test Sopwith machines. He was killed in 1921 while practicing for that year's 'Aerial Derby'.
Recommended reading: Hawker: Aviator, Designer, Test Pilot