Essex and its race for the skies

A FASCINATING new book documenting Essex s contribution to the world of aviation at the beginning of the 20th century has just been published. For author Graham Smith, Essex and Its Race for the Skies was a labour of love – the Chelmsford man has always b

A FASCINATING new book documenting Essex's contribution to the world of aviation at the beginning of the 20th century has just been published.

For author Graham Smith, Essex and Its Race for the Skies was a labour of love - the Chelmsford man has always been captivated by the part his home county played in the progress of aerial technology.

Covering the years 1900 to 1939, with a brief mention of hot air balloons and the efforts of "Birdman" George Faux to offer some context, the book gives a comprehensive account of all things flight-related during the early pioneering years of aviation.

Learn how the first landing grounds specifically for flying machine experiments were created in South Fambridge


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and Dagenham in 1908, and how the following year Frederick Handley Page launched the country's first manufacturing business for aerial parts, described then as producing "aeroplanes, hydroplanes, airships, balloons, aeronautical apparatus and machines".

Discover how the First World War and its associated technological growth spurt transformed the world of flight, and how progress burgeoned in the years leading up to the Second World War.

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Graham Smith has previously written on the subject of the history of aviation in Essex, and his latest offering is sure to appeal to anyone looking for an informative and entertaining read, while also catering to the aviation enthusiast.

Essex and Its Race for the Skies is published by Countryside Books and retails for £10.99 from local booksellers, or direct from the publishers at www.countrysidebooks.co.uk

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