The Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough was unique in that it was a government-run experimental establishment. Few aeroplanes were actually produced there, but a long line of successful types were designed there, including the BE2, FE8, RE8 and SE5, all of which were used in considerable numbers during WWI. From the early ballooning and kite experiments through to the formidable S.E.5. The author describes the events, the personalities and the background to a highly successful series of aeroplanes and engines. Illustrated with 177 b&w photographs.