The Birth of Military Aviation: Britain, 1903-1914

The Birth of Military Aviation: Britain, 1903-1914

Hugh Driver


Royal Historical Society



A survey of the development of British military aviation from 1903 to 1914, revealing the consequences of its annexation by the state as a branch of armaments as an underlying cause of aircraft inadequacies on the outbreak of war.
A mine of information, drawing on an impressive range of archives. It will become an important point of reference. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

This book aims to demonstrate how the crisis evident in British military aviation in the early years of the First World War was inherent in the entire development of aviation in the years preceding the conflict. After outlining the work of the early pioneers and the growth of an aviation industry as a branch of armaments, Dr Driver considers the objectives of the War Office in increasingly seeking to divert design development to their research establishment at Farnborough. He shows how the resultant virtual state monopoly in design and procurement had disastrous consequences for aircraft innovation and development, suffocating both competition and initiative, and leading to the maintenance of inadequate aircraft by the Royal Flying Corps following the outbreak of war. The continuing dispute and its culmination in the "Fokker Scourge" controversy of 1915-1916 graphically characterise the strained development of military-industrial relations in this area.

Dr HUGH DRIVER gained an MA in War Studies from King's College London, and a D.Phil in modern history at Oriel College, Oxford.

An e-book version of this title is available (9780585182223), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


November 1997
19 black and white, 1 line illustrations
384 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
ISBN: 9780861932344
Format: Hardback
Royal Historical Society
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Related Titles


An impressive and extremely comprehensive analysis of the origins of British air power... both readable and absorbing. JOURNAL OF STRATEGIC STUDIES

An essential history. ALBION

A mine of information, drawing on an impressive range of archives. It will become an important point of reference ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

Also in Series