Henri Farman was born in 1874. With his brother Maurice Farman, he made his first flight in a plane in 1908. The plane they built the following year flew a record distance of 160 km (100 miles). Four years later, the two brothers started their own aviation company at Boulogne-sur-Seine.
Two of the company's planes, the Farman MF-7 and the Farman MF-II, were popular Allied reconnaissance craft during the early stages of the First World War. Other aircraft produced during this period included the Farman HF-20, Farman F-40 and the Farman F-50. In 1917 the Farman brothers built the first long-distance passenger plane, the Goliath. Henri Farman died in 1958.
From 26 April to 6 May 1917 flying over France, Captain Ball took part in 26 combats in the course of which he destroyed 11 hostile aircraft, brought down two out of control and forced several others to land. Flying alone, on one occasion he fought six hostile machines, twice he fought five and once four. When leading two other British planes he attacked an enemy formation of eight - on each of these occasions he brought down at least one enemy plane, and several times his plane was badly damaged. On returning with a damaged plane he had always to be restrained from immediately going out in another.