The de Havilland Aircraft Co opened an aerodrome in 1930 on farmland that it acquired outside Hatfield. The company’s School of Flying was the first operation to take up residence. Flying clubs moved in and recreational facilities were developed. Garden parties, aerobatic displays and national air races were hosted. Regular visitors included famous flyers, royalty and aristocracy, actors and actresses, politicians, senior military ranks and representatives from Britain’s other great aircraft manufacturers. Throughout 1934, new buildings were constructed to house de Havilland’s global headquarters, factory production and Aeronautical Technical School. The victory of the sleek, red Comet in the England-Australia air race would have lasting significance for the town. The legendary Tiger Moth and iconic airliners such as the Dragon Rapide came off the production lines. Increasing numbers of RAF pilots were trained by the School of Flying while the garden parties, flying displays and air races continued. Military aircraft contracts were getting larger as long shadows from Europe reached the town. Illustrated throughout.