The War in the Air
WW1 saw a fledgling aviation industry take flight & audacious heroics from its pilots
Albert Ball was the first pilot of the Royal Flying Corps to receive the Victoria Cross. He was shot down on 7 May 1917.
He is credited with shooting down 43 German planes. Image: Imperial War Museums
Servicemen at Halton, Buckinghamshire, where the newly-formed Royal Flying Corps started to train its technical staff.
Fourteen thousand men and women were trained at Halton. Photo: Imperial War Museums
An airship at Luce Bay prepares to patrol the vulnerable Scottish coast in 1918.
Image courtesy of Guy Warner
A Wight Seaplane under construction by the Portholme Aerodrome Company. The first flight from Portholme was made in April 1910.
The Cambridgeshire aerodrome was closed in 1922. Image: Cambridgeshire Archives.
Montrose Air Station, Scotland. The first Royal Flying Corps, Number 2 Squadron, arrived there in September 1913.
It was the UK’s first operational military airfield. Image: Montrose Air Station Heritage
The hangars at Old Sarum, Wiltshire. The site was requisitioned for use as a flight training establishment in 1917.
The hangars were built by German prisoners & Chinese labourers. Imperial War Museums
Rex Warneford destroyed a German Zeppelin with a ‘terrific explosion which set the Zeppelin on fire from end to end'.
The daring pilot was awarded a VC for this. Image courtesy of Imperial War Museums
Port Meadow's Oxfordshire Aerodrome. Grazing livestock were moved away each day before planes could take off.
Image courtesy of Peter Smith.
A kite balloon hovers over a road in Donegal. These balloons were often used for intelligence gathering.
Photo: courtesy of James Deeney
An airship coming in to land at Bentra Airship Mooring Station near Whitehead, Co Antrim.
Photo: courtesy of Guy Warner
An airship flying out of Luce Bay in Scotland
Photo: courtesy of Guy Warner.
Duxford - one of the earliest Royal Air Force stations. Cadets began their training here, with sessions as short as 20 minutes.
Photo courtesy of Imperial War Museums
This gallery is from
WW1 at Home: a growing collection of stories about life on the WW1 Home Front