In this talk, the RAF Museum’s Archive, Library and Research Manager, Nina Hadaway, explores the relationship between Hendon and the development of military aviation during the First World War.


Hendon has a long association with aviation. As early as the 1910s experimental flights were undertaken across its green fields, and air races fired the public’s imagination. Claude Grahame-White was amongst a group of pioneer aviators who established the London Aerodrome. Pilot training was offered to male and female enthusiasts. Air displays drew huge crowds and became a fixture of the social calendar rivalling Ascot and Henley. Hundreds of thousands of people developed the ‘Hendon Habit’ of attending the flying season and the pilots taking part became celebrities in their right. With the coming of the First World War Hendon became a hub of training for the military air services and the testing of aircraft for the front line. It was at the heart of a massive aircraft manufacturing industry which developed in in the local area. Over 55,000 aircraft were produced in the UK during the First World War with 8,000 of them being made in North West London. This talk charts Hendon’s involvement with military aviation; from a display venue demonstrating the potential use of aircraft in warfare to a focal point for pilot training, manufacturing and testing. It highlights the development of the site, its activities and the people involved.


This lecture will be held in the RAF Museum lecture theatre at 12:30 PM on Friday 18 August 2017.


This lecture is free of charge however we do ask that you pre-book a free ticket as seats are limited. Booking is quick and easy, we just need some basic contact information.



Nina Hadaway is the Archive, Library and Research Manager at the RAF Museum. The Department looks after the Archive and Library collections; working to preserve them as well as making them available to researchers. She has curated a number of exhibitions and regularly delivers talks to visitors, society groups and historical organisations. She is the author of The Golden Age of Air Travel (2013) and has also written for the Journal of the Royal Air Force Historical Society.


The First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lectures, funded by the HLF, forms part of our Research Programme for 2017. This programme also consists of the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies, the Cold War Lunchtime Lectures and other events such as conferences. A copy of our Research Programme can be downloaded here.

For more details about the RAF Museum’s research programme, please email me at

Please note that lectures are subject to change.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s