The Royal Aircraft Factory

Author(s): Paul R. Hare 

ISBN: 9781781558416
$33.00 $47.00
The story of the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough from 1908 to 1918 with detailed descriptions of the many different aeroplanes designed there for active service in the First World War.
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  • Beautifully illustrated throughout with period photographs, line drawings and maps

  • This new edition has been greatly extended and completely updated

  • A must-have for military enthusiasts, historians, modellers and those interested in the complexities of aircraft design and production during the First World War

The story of the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough – forerunner of the world’s premier aeronautical research establishment – designed a diversity of aircraft, including many of those that equipped the RFC, RNAS and RAF during the First World War.

Originally established to build observation balloons for the Victorian British Army, the Royal Aircraft Factory later expanded to employ over 3,500 people by mid-1916, at which time it became the subject of a political controversy that ended in a judicial enquiry. In 1918, its title was changed to the Royal Aircraft Establishment, not only to avoid a clash of initials with the newly formed Royal Air Force, but to better define its changing role.

Aircraft designed at Farnborough include the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 and the famous S.E.5a aka the ‘Widow Maker’. Fast and agile, the S.E.5a was the first ‘boom and zoom’ fighter that was used by the greatest Allied aces such as Billy Bishop, James McCudden and Edward Mannock.

Each of the many designs for airships and aeroplanes that were produced by the Factory between 1908 and 1918 are described in detail, illustrated by photographs and with three-view drawings provided for the more prominent designs.

BOOK ISBN 9781781558416
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 384 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 348 black-and-white photographs



Paul R. Hare has made a lifelong study of early aviation with particular emphasis on the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough and, in addition to writing books and articles, has lectured on the topic to numerous organisations both in England and the USA. Hare has been involved, at director level, with several aeroplane museums and, as a leading authority on the subject, have acted as technical advisor on a number of restoration projects.