The story of the pioneers of Britain’s war in the skies and the development of military aviation before and during World War I
In 1903 the Wright Brothers achieved their dream of powered flight, and from then on our domination of the skies became a reality. The military potential of aircraft was obvious from the outset, first as a way of spying on the enemy with reconnaissance planes and balloons armed with early cameras, and then as a way of taking the battle into the skies, as planes became weapons of war. In Britain these early days of military aviation were pioneered by a group of enthusiastic men who were based at Lark Hill, Wiltshire where the rolling plains became ideal landing grounds. Here, the first military aviation base came into existence. This history charts its early days and its influence on World War I aviation.