Thanks to the prevailing winds, balloonists taking off from London in the 19th century would often find themselves landing in Essex fields and as the interest in aviation blossomed, landing grounds for aeronautical experiments were established in the county. This history traces the development of flying in Essex from these beginnings to the major aircraft production of the Handley Page and Avro companies and the fighter stations of the Second World War.
SMITH, Graham. Essex and its Race for the Skies. 1900-1939.
Newbury: Countryside Books, 2007. 9781846740541 1846740541 / 9781846740541
1st edition. "Essex was at the forefront of the pioneering days of flying....Early in the 20th century, the first landing grounds for flying machine experiments were established at South Fambridge and Dagenham....At the outbreak of the First World War, six landing grounds - Hainault Farm, Writtle, South Rochford known as Eastwood, Chingford, Burnham-on-Crouch and Widford near Chelmsford were established, with a seaplane station at Clacton..In peacetime, the county played host to flying circuses and air displays..." Pp.224, black & white photo illustrations throughout + map of Essex. Paperback. VG.