Protecting the kingdom

Ian Frain provides a brief overview of police aviation in the UK, which today is based around Airbus helicopters

PARAPUBLIC NATIONAL POLICE AIR SERVICE

POLICE AVIATION IN THE UK: THE BEGINNINGS

In 1921, the R33 and R36 airships were used to assist the police force with traffic control around the Ascot and Epsom horse racing events. An aerial balloon was used by the police force in the 1924 Epsom Derby and nine years later the Metropolitan Police first used an autogyro to patrol that year’s Derby. Subsequently the Cierva autogyro was demonstrated to police forces.

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