• The militarisation of aerial theatre: air displays and airmindedness in Britain and Australia between the world wars

    Author(s):
    Brett Holman (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Subject(s):
    Australia, History, Technology, Military history, Great Britain, History, Modern
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Australian history, History of technology, Modern British history
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/gsmq-fs45
    Abstract:
    Aerial theatre, the use of aviation spectacle to project images of future warfare, national power and technological prowess, was a key method for creating an airminded public in the early 20th century. The most significant and influential form of aerial theatre in interwar Britain was the Royal Air Force (RAF) Display at Hendon, in which military aircraft put on impressive flying performances before large crowds, including an elaborate set-piece acting out a battle scenario with an imaginary enemy. Hendon was emulated by other air displays in Britain and in Australia, even civilian ones. Indeed, the inability of the much smaller Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to regularly project spectacle on the scale of Hendon across a much larger nation created a gap which civilian aviation organisations then tried to fill. Hendon thus helped to propagate a militarised civilian aerial theatre, and hence airmindedness, in both Britain and Australia.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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