Discover and explore the unique and often overlooked role of air power during World War One through the incredible stories of the men and women who took part in the exciting new exhibition at the RAF Museum in Hendon, First World War in the Air.

Eleven years after the first powered flight, aviation emerged as a force capable of changing the face of battle.

In 1914, the Royal Flying Corps numbered just 1,500 people. By 1918, when the Royal Air Force was created, this had grown to more than 205,000. The full strategic value of air power had become evident – both on the battlefield and on the Home Front.

The new exhibition, in the Claude Grahame-White Hangar at the museum, tells this compelling story. Discover the vital work of the service men and women on the ground as well as the changing roles of those in the air as the essential use of ‘eyes in the sky’ for reconnaissance was complemented by the introduction of new technologies for bombing and fighting high above the ground.

It includes the museum’s world-class collection of aircraft, documents, film and photographs, as well as many personal artefacts including medals, letters and uniforms, all bringing the moving and inspirational stories to life. It will reveal how aviation changed the character of war driven by innovation, sacrifice and a spirit of adventure, and will ensure that the bravery and sacrifice of these aviation pioneers will never be forgotten.

  • First World War in the Air is at the RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, Hendon from Thursday, December 4 to Wednesday, December 31, 10am to 6pm. Details: 020 8205 2266,