In 1911, Larkhill, near Durrington Down on Salisbury Plain, became Britain's first military airfield. Along with similar flying training bases constructed at nearby Upavon and Netheravon, it was to occupy a cornerstone position in Wiltshire's early aviation history. It was these establishments, in addition to those at Gosport, Eastchurch, Farnborough and Montrose, that formed the only Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service aerodromes in the British Isles when war was declared in August 1914. During a century of powered flight (1903-2003), some forty airfields and landing grounds have provided a useful, indeed significant, service within the county boundaries. Several are still in operation today and one need look no further than Boscombe Down to find a site which, though first occupied in 1917, is currently home to a testing establishment (QinetiQ) which serves at the forefront of the aerospace industry. In Wiltshire's Skies throws a wide net over the locations, events and many colourful personalities which have shaped the county's aeronautical heritage.
It now joins the author's previously published volumes on neighbouring counties, Dorset and Hampshire, to complete a personal trilogy in the History Press Images of Aviation series.
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- ID: 9780752432359
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