'World War 1: Aviation Comes of Age' - filmed at the RAF Museum, London

New course explores impact of First World War on history of flight

Posted on centenarynews.com on 10 October 2014
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A free online course exploring the evolution of air power in the First World War launches on October 20th 2014.

'World War 1: Aviation Comes of Age'  is offered by the University of Birmingham's War Studies Department, in partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum in London and the BBC.

The course will look at:

*How technological innovations turned the aeroplane into a machine of war and how British factories developed to supply the pilots of the Western Front with aircraft and ammunition.

*How the aeroplane became a commercially viable tool for the first time, with passenger and mail routes starting to appear.

*How the UK government tried – and failed – to regulate the aviation industry.

*How all the key moments in the air in the Second World War followed from lessons learned during the First World War.

The RAF Museum provided locations for filming across its site at Hendon in northwest London. These included the Grahame White office, which was active in overseeing aircraft production during the First World War. 

The footage, featuring aircraft and documents from the Museum's collections, will form the core of the course’s lecture content. 

Ross Mahoney, the RAF Museum's Aviation Historian, says the First World War was a key period in the development of military aviation:  "By its end, Great Britain had formed the world’s first independent air force, the RAF. However, many myths have developed around the use and influence of aviation in this period. 

"This course explores those myths and shows how aviation gripped people’s imagination and transformed the very character of warfare, which still influences the world today.”

The course is led by Dr Peter Gray, a retired Air Commodore and former Director of Defence Studies at the RAF, who now teaches Birmingham’s MA in Air Power. 

Using a web-based platform, it's aimed at increasing access to higher education for new learners worldwide.

'World War 1: Aviation Comes of Age'  is a three-week course, starting on October 20th 2014. Registration is open now. Details are available here.

Sources: RAF Museum/Birmingham University/Future Learn

Images: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News