Flying History

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Grange Airfield

At the RFC School of Special Flying at Gosport, Eng., Major Robert Smith-Barry introduced a curriculum based on a balanced combination of academic classroom training and dual flight instruction. Philosophically, Smith-Barry's system was based not on avoiding potentially dangerous manoeuvres (as had been the case before) but on exposing the student to them in a controlled manner so that he could learn to recover from them, thereby gaining confidence and skill. Technologically, it was based on the Avro 504J, a specialised training aircraft with dual controls, good handling characteristics, adequate power, and in-flight communication between instructor and student by means of a system of soft rubber tubing the Gosport tube. For the first time, military pilots flew into action as masters of their aeroplanes. The Gosport system of training was eventually adopted at training schools throughout the world, remaining the dominant method of civil and military flight instruction into the jet age.          “ The Technology of War  Air transport and training.” Britannica® CD99 Standard Edition ©1994-1999 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.

Web Site of the Newspaper of Pensacola (Fla) Naval Air Station - more evidence of the ‘Gosport Tube’.

Private Flying at Grange Airfield


For Enquiries

Contact Me At:

Ian R Jeffery

11 Harcourt Rd, Gosport, Hants,     PO12 3NR

Tel:  023 9252 3358    

Mobile: 07817 517 995


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Site first published 3rd April 2001

Updated 5th October 2015

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