More information 

To request a copy of Reach for the Sky or 100 Years of Flying in South Hampshire,

023 80001655

For events and information on the Centenary of Flight visit


The Hamble Valley region was a centre for early aviation, particularly around two early airfields; one which was developed in Hamble and the second in Eastleigh which eventually became
Southampton Internation Airport. 

Back in 1910, at a time when aircraft were in their infancy, local man, Edwin Rowland Moon, triumphantly flew his homemade Moonbeam II aircraft from the fields of North Stoneham Farm (which is now Southampton Airport) Situated on the outskirts of Eastleigh town, it is also the site where the Spitfire took its maiden flight in 1936. Its designer RJ Mitchell, is buried at South Stoneham cemetery adjacent to the airport and a near life size sculpture of the prototype Spitfire marks the entrance of the airport today.

Many famous aviators also worked at Hamble’s three airfields, where between 1913 and 1984 there were six aircraft manufactuters. The first aviation activity happened in 1911 when Hamble Boat builders Luke Brothers built a floatplane.

The fascinting history of aviation in the Hamble Valley is explained in the free leaflet ‘Reach for the Skies’ and includes local stories from the many local people who worked on the Spitfires or flew them.

Throughout 2010, Southampton International Airport celebrates a ‘Hundred Years of Flying in South Hampshire‘ and a special leaflet for the centenary has been produced along with a series of events to commemorate the history of early aviation.