On 2 June 1910 the Hon. Charles Rolls, co-founder of the Rolls-Royce Company, made his historic flight from Dover to France and back without landing.He took off from Swingate at 6:28pm, circled the airfield, which was opposite the Duke of York’s School, climbed to about 800 feet and soon disappeared from view. At 7:45pm he was spotted on his return flight, approaching the coast. He turned and flew across the harbour, passing over the town at about 1,000 feet. He circled the Castle, flew over the recently built Bleriot memorial and landed close to his hangar at 8:00pm. Soldiers and police had to hold back a 3,000 strong crowd who had witnessed the event. After describing how he had dropped messages to the French at Sangatte, he was hoisted shoulder high and carried, by a cheering crowd, back to his car.The flight, of about sixty miles, won him the Ruinart Cup presented by the French champagne company. Rolls was dead one month later, killed at a Bournemouth air show, and a memorial statue was erected on the Sea Front in 1912.