|Flight Recorder Publications|
|$19.95 from Specialty Press|
|Notes:||112 pages, 7.75 x 10.5 inches, softbound, 140 photos, ISBN: 978-0-9554268-6-5|
There are places around the world that are synonymous with aviation and in the UK, one of those is RAF Hendon.
Hendon is a place were a great deal of aeronautical work was done, starting in the mid-19th Century with balloon flights and once powered flight began, it was a prime area for aviation. Much of this was, of course, due to its close proximity to London.
It was here that many learned to fly, much of that thanks to Claude Graham-White, probably the best known British aviation pioneer. The man definitely had the desire to fly and while he did little in the way of designing aircraft, he was instrumental in teaching others. His importance to Hendon cannot be understated as his relationship with Hendon takes up nearly 2/3rds of the book.
During WWI, it was mostly civil operators that taught the RFC and RAF's pilots, so Graham-White was heavily involved. Post war, things did not go so well for him and eventually, the RAF took over most of the field. During the inter-war year, Hendon was famous for its flying displays, drawing tens of thousands from the London area to see what was new and see the aerial displays.
With the start of WWII, Hendon was a hub for communications flights and soon became home base for 24 Squadron, which operated transports, ending with mostly Dakotas at war's end. It remained a communications and transport base until the 60s when it was obviously too small for modern aircraft. Its fate was sealed when it was decided to convert much of the base to civilian housing, but not before the RAF Museum was set up and display aircraft had been brought from around the UK. It is now one of the world's premiere aircraft museums and a must visit for any aviation enthusiast.
In all, it makes for a fascinating look at the early years of British aviation and is a most interesting read in its own right. This book is one that I can easily recommend to you.
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