29 Oct 09. Cobham Celebrates 75th Anniversary. Cobham traces its origin to this day in 1934, when aviation pioneer and innovator Sir Alan Cobham founded Flight Refuelling Ltd. By 1934, Sir Alan Cobham had already established his reputation as an aviation pioneer, passionate about making the aircraft a mainstream means of transport. He came to prominence flying potential commercial airline routes between the UK and India, Africa, and Australia during the 1920s. During the 1930s, he introduced more than a million people to the experience of flight with “Cobham’s Flying Circus”. Although the company he founded in 1934 started as an air-to-air refuelling specialist and is still the world leader in this field, Cobham today is so much more. Through a combination of organic growth and the acquisition of over 50 companies, the Group’s capabilities are now increasingly focused around C4ISR, safety and survival. The Group’s products and services have played pivotal roles in world events from the Berlin Airlift to the US and European space programs, NATO operations and relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and China’s Sichuan earthquake in 2008. Cobham is also involved with customers and partners on some of the most important programmes in Aerospace and Defence such as Eurofighter Typhoon, F-35, Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft, A400M and vehicle intercom systems for land based vehicles. Cobham has produced a commemorative web site and a book dedicated to its employees past and present. His Royal Highness Prince Philip, who knew Sir Alan and Sir Michael Cobham, has kindly written the foreword to this book. In it he states: “Anyone who has a talent for engineering and the ambition to use it for the benefit of humanity would be well-advised to read this book as a source of inspiration and encouragement. Equally, anyone intending to follow a career in politics might learn some important lessons about the value of engineers and engineering to the creation of wealth and national prosperity.” The Group’s development over the past 75 years has been guided by only four Chief Executives: Sir Alan Cobham, his son Sir Michael Cobham, Gordon Page CBE, and Allan Cook CBE.