Staffordshire boasted one of the first dedicated aerodromes in Great Britain when, in 1910, Dunstall Park, Wolverhampton, hosted the first ever All British Flying Meeting. Since then, flying has always featured in the county. In the First World War Dunstall Park was joined by other aerodromes at Perton and Halford Lane, Smethwick, and even during the demise of flying in the 1920s, itinerant joy flight operators and flying circuses still operated. During the 1930s municipal airports were established at Walsall, Stoke and Wolverhampton, where the new Boulton Paul Aircraft Factory was built. The Second World War saw an explosion of airfield construction across Staffordshire as important training bases were built. After 1945 only RAF Lichfield remained in use, although RAF Hixon was used as a sub-site for the RAF Depot at Stafford. Then, in 1956, Boulton Paul reopened disused airfields in the area when they made RAF Seighford their Test Flight Centre. Since then, although the three municiple airports have closed, private flying is becoming ever more popular and airfields such as Tatenhill, Penkridge and Halfpenny Green are thriving once more.
This fascinating collection of over 200 photographs vividly chronicles the highs and lows of flying in Staffordshire and the Black Country. It includes from pictures of an early aviation meeting at Burton on Trent to the frenetic activity of the Second World War and the microlights of today.