Bonser, Roy.


Midland Publishing, Hinckley, 1st ed., 2001. 392 pp., numerous photo-ills., + ills., maps & plans. D.j., 29 x 22cm. FINE. Told for the first time, this is a definitive account of the many aspects of aviation in Leicestershire and Rutland from the earliest balloon ascent in 1813, to the First World War anti-Zeppelin stations and the flying circuses of the 1920s, to the RAF Bomber Command Raids on the Reich, the USAAF operations with their Troop Carrier units, and the USAF and RAF photo-recce and nuclear-capable bombers of the cold-war period. The counties airfields have also been used for ab initio and advanced pilot training, for RAF transport aircraft, for aircraft ferrying units, for Thor IRBM and Bloodhound anti-aircraft missiles, as a major gliding centre, as well as for aircraft maintenance and refurbishment. The jet engine was born in Lutterworth, Spitfires were built at Desford, the Auster light aircraft family was created at Rearsby and a diverse range of post-war military aircraft made first flights from Bitteswell. At the turn of the 21st century the RAF were flying some of their most potent first-line jets from Cottesmore and the area boasts a leading regional airport. 660 photographs, mostly previously unpublished, accompany this magnum opus.

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