5 May 1953 – Christopher Draper flies under fifteen bridges on the Thames

On 5th May 1953, Christopher Draper – commonly known as the Mad Major – performed an incredible stunt by flying under fifteen (out of eighteen planned) bridges on the river Thames, located within the greater London area.

Draper performed that spectacular flight for the publicity. Despite being well-known former military pilot, the air ace of the Great War and World War II veteran, the Mad Major was unemployed for more than a year and totally broke. And the amazing flight under the Thames bridges was both a desperate attempt to show he is still fit and worth employing, as well as to bring public attention to plight of war veterans in the UK.

What´s interesting, it was not the first time Christopher Draper performed a similar stunt. Back in 1915, the Mad Major flew a seaplane under Firth of Tay bridge near Dundee, then already flew under two bridges on the Thames in 1931.

If you would like to learn more about the Mad Major, as well as other stories of no less incredible daring flights, we recommend reading the following article, issued in April of 2020.