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Ernest Thompson Willows (1896-1926), aviation pioneer and aircraft designer, was born in Cardiff. He started designing his own craft at the age of nineteen, and made his first flight in 1905. On 4 November 1910 he became the first person to fly across the English Channel, from London to Paris. He developed a method of powering hot air balloons using moveable propellers - this meant that balloons could be steered. He died in 1926 as a result of a ballooning accident in Bedford.

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