Product Reviews

Published on February 12th, 2017 | by Alan Dwyer


Pioneers, Showmen and the RFC: Early Aviation in Ireland 1909-1914

By Guy Warner

This is a recently published, fully illustrated account of early aviation in Ireland. It describes and examines the key events in the field of aviation during the years between Harry Ferguson’s first flight and the outbreak of the Great War.

Author Guy Warner

It studies the people, the aircraft and the places involved, and makes much use of contemporary sources to reveal the story through the eyes of those who witnessed these exciting times.  All the main personalities are covered, as well as new research on several more obscure pioneers.”

“Few people nowadays are able to visualise the difficulties and dangers of learning to fly in 1910…flying was in the experimental stage, it was impossible to predict how the frail and flimsy structure would behave in the air.” Captain Frederick Sykes, writing in 1940.

The book was launch at the Officer’s Mess in Baldonnel with an introduction by Brig Gen Paul Fry and the author, Guy Warner who spoke about the various early aviators to visit Ireland, gave then following a presentation. He gave an account of the early air displays to take place at Leopardstown Racecourse and the first air race from Leopardstown to Belfast that fell foul of the inclement weather. Guy also outlined some reports from the local newspapers ofthe day, which had to describe the first sighting of an aircraft. One such report described an aircraft as a ‘canoe type structure’ with beams at right angles at the front and smaller beams to the rear along with one vertical beam to enhance stability! Interesting times indeed.

The book is available to purchase online for €19.75 at

ISBN: 9781780731063

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