Stag Lane Aerodrome
Stag Lane Aerodrome
Stag Lane Aerodrome was located within a mile of the Edgware Road and thus closely associated with the early aviation pioneers and Hendon Aerodrome. From about 1928 Stag Lane Airfield was a popular Flying Club for would be pilots. It also played a key role in the developing aircraft industry.

Photo: A commemorative plaque is unveiled at the former site of De Havilland's Stag Lane factory in Edgware, North London, on 25th September 2001. 
| EXITCaptain Geoffrey De Havilland | Amy Johnson | Other Key Events | Links |

The plaque reads: 'Site of Stag Lane Aerodrome founded in 1916 by the L and P Aviation Co.' then, from 1920, 'Home to de Havilland Aircraft & Engine Companies'.

Here follows an outline study of the area, with key dates...

Captain Geoffrey de Havilland (1882-1965)
  • On 25th September 1920 the de Havilland Aircraft Company was founded in two rented sheds at Stag Lane Airfield, Edgware, London.
  • In 1925 the first Gypsy Moth flying machine was built.
  • In 1934 the Aircraft Division moved from Stag Lane to Hatfield and part of the airfield was sold to developers for housing which became the Aerodrome Estate.
  • In 1936 chalet bungalows on the new Aerodrome Estate were just 5 minutes walk from what remained of the de Havilland factory at Stag Lane. George A. Frodsham - Technical Aviation Illustrator lived in the appropriately named Mollison Way.
  • Interesting inter-war houses are those designed by local architect Ernest Trobridge at Stag and Buck lanes.
  • In 1959, the de Havilland Aircraft Company became a division of Hawker Siddeley Aviation.
Amy Johnson (1903-1941) & Jimmy Mollison
  • In 1928 she began learning to fly at the London Flying Club at Stag Lane.
  • On 6th July 1929 she gained her pilot's 'A' licence.
  • On 10th December 1929 she was awarded a Ground Engineer's 'C' licence and was the first woman ever to gain such a qualification.
  • On 5th May 1930 she flew her second - hand Gypsy Moth single handed from London to Darwin, (11,000 miles) in just under 20 days, thus becoming the first woman to fly solo to Australia.
  • Her future husband, Jimmy Mollison completed the return flight in just under 9 days. 
Other Key Events
  • On 18th November 1925, The Holt Autochute is publicly demonstrated for the first time at Stag Lane airfield, Edgware; a small pilot parachute pulls the main chute out of the bag.
  • In 1928, Captain Valentine Baker was chief instructor at the London Aeroplane Club at Stag Lane Aerodrome.
  • Also in 1928, Lady Bailey flew 8000 miles in a de Havilland Moth from Stag Lane to Cape Town.
  • On 9th September 1929, the first unnamed prototype of the DH 80, E-1, made its first flight from Stag Lane.
  • In 1934, Jean Batten gained her licence and a commercial rating at the London Aeroplane Club at Stag Lane when she succeeded in flying a Gipsy Moth.
  • In 1934, Captain Valentine Baker and James Martin formed the Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd which later developed the first ejector seat.
  • On 24th July 1946, Bernard Lynch became the first human to eject from a moving aircraft.

Martin - Baker - the world leader in ejection seat and escape system technology.

The de Havilland Moth Club - The de Havilland Moth Club welcomes anyone with an interest in the classic aeroplanes designed and built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company at Stag Lane and Hatfield between the wars.

BACS Ltd The BACS company was originally based at Stag Lane. The old de Havilland aircraft factory was an ideal location within London to build what was (at the time) one of the largest computer halls in Europe. Way back in 1968, the electronic transfer of funds between banks was introduced by the Inter-Bank Computer Bureau, to streamline the handling of bulk payments without the need for paper. By 1971 the Bureau had changed its name to the more familiar, Bankers Automated Clearing Services, BACS. In 2004 BACS Ltd moved to smaller premises in London. In the 30 or more years that BACS had been based at the De Havilland Road site, processing power had increased while the physical size of the equipment had shrunk, making the vast computer halls redundant.

Design, images and text compiled by © Light-Straw. Page last updated June 2015 revision. Checked May 2021.

All logos and trade marks are the property of their respective owners and are used on the Light Straw site(s) for review only. Students and researchers are recommended to make their own independent enquiries as to the accuracy of the information contained therein.