ROOKLAN IS AS A FLYING CENTRE
WHERE KINDRED SPIRITS MEET.
NE does not have to delve very deeply into history to discover that in years gone by aviation and the sport of motor racing were closely linked together.
Men who had devoted their energies to improving the efficiency of the automobile, and who had achieved, prominence by their accomplishments in design and racing were, when the time arrived, eager to “join up ” in the then new science of flying, and so the centre of British motor racing—Brooklands—took on a fresh aspect. Sheds and workshops were erected, and while fourwheeled monsters thundered round the track, divers and strange craft took shape within those buildings, and ultimately took the air.
All that was long ago, and the puny infant aviation has grown to = robust maturity, rivalling its early ally in attraction, progress and triumphs. But the bond still holds between the two, and there is no place where it is so apparent than at the scene of those early days. Brooklands as an aviation centre is old, but it is also very up-to-date, The people there keep abreast of the times and no new development, scheme or method which may make their headquarters and activities really modern and go-ahead is overlooked or ignored. Most visitors to the track must have noticed during the past few months the erection of a new building in the
vicinity of the aeroplane sheds. This is the clubhouse of the Brooklands Aero Club, and it has just recently been opened. And it is a club house. Built on really modern lines it embodies all those amenities which the flying club member or aerodrome visitor has sought for so long. On the ground floor one finds—after entering the hall—a spacious restaurant, a bar, and a lounge sumptuously furnished, warm and well-served. These things are needed at aerodromes—places of long waits, bleak winds and other things that try the traveller.
The roof of the building is flat, and this, together with the look-out tower, which surmounts the whole, forms a perfect vantage point from which to witness flying events. The flying side of the club is
attended to by the Brooklands School of Flying, which under the leadership of Captain H. D. Davis, A.F.C., has an instructional staff of the highest class. Captain Davis is a pilot and instructor of very great experience ; his connection with flying, in fact, dates back long before the War, when he was associated with that great pioneer, Colonel Cody. And it is here interesting to note that the two grandsons of Colonel Cody are on the staff of the B.S.F. With Captain Davis are Messrs. G. E. Lowden and S. A. Thorn, both of whom saw considerable service in the R.A.F. and who have had wide experience in commercial aviation..
The Brooklands School of Flying by sheer merit has expanded in business considerably during the past few years, and when it is stated that the total flying time of the instructional staff now exceeds fifteen thousand hours, any prospective pupil to the B.S.F. or member of the 13rooklands Aero Club will realise that he will start his aviation career under the best possible conditions, in the safest hands, and under the most expert guidance. But besides learning to fly, he may if he so desires study the allied subjects of air navigation, aircraft and engine maintenance and so forth, for provision is made for this in lecture rooms adjoining the hangars. A visit to these shows that They are extraordinarily wellequipped with sectioned engines, wings, control systems, scale models
of the aerodrome, and in fact, all the essentials of the modern aerotechnical school. A development more recently incorporated in the school’s highly-systemized method of instruction, and which one would hazard, will prove an important factor in the near future, is the installation of a wireless transmitting and receiving set, which already has proved its value in allowing the instructor to keep contact with and advise a pupil while flying solo. The machines which form the fleet of the flying school are
“Moths,” some of which are fitted with hoods and full complement of instruments for blind flying instruction. The ” Moths ” however, are not the only occupants of the big hangar which ranges alongside the new club building, for here are housed numbers of privately-owned machines, demonstration machines, and sundry aircraft for sale. Indeed, outside an aero show one would seldom find so wide a variety of light aircraft under one roof. Going further afield one comes to the repair shops of the B.S.F. where
all types of machines are re-conditioned. This is just another branch of the concern’s activities.
Tucked away in the far side of track, this “air colony” is, perhaps, overlooked by the average race-fan who regularly comes to Brooldands. To these, one would tender the suggestion that they lose no time in taking the road that skirts the aerodrome and leads thither. By doing so, if they are not air-minded already, they will, without doubt, reach that happy state before they make their return.