Competition was hotting-up between British and intercontinental airlines as a new decade of flight aboard now-legendary types beckoned for the well-heeled. In the third of our six-part series – with fascinating images of the era – Croydon’s response to growing domestic and international demand comes into focus
The Croydon Airport of the 1920s had been synonymous with the spirit of the age, with air races, aerial record attempts and pioneering route-proving flights, establishing a reputation as a mecca for the romance of flight and heroic daredevil flyers. But as the decade progressed, British and European commercial aviation became established with reliable scheduled services. Aircraft manufacturers developed larger and more sophisticated airliners that swept away older designs with their cramped, cold and draughty passenger cabins and uncovered cockpits that left the intrepid pilots exposed to the elements. In their place, new designs brought greater capacity, safety and comfort, and the airlines, now on a firmer footing with government backing, sought to compete and to differentiate themselves based on service.