Did you know that Citroën Kegresse vehicles played a vital role in British aviation? These photos from the early 1930s of the Croydon airport, located in South London, show Citroën’s B1 Kegresse being used as the means to move aircraft about.
Croydon airport opened in 1920, and was Britain’s main airport at the time, handling more cargo, mail, and passengers than any other UK airport. Innovations at the site included the world’s first air traffic control and the first airport terminal.
During World War II the airport was named RAF Croydon as its role changed to that of a fighter airfield during the Battle of Britain; After the Second World War, its role returned to civil aviation, but the role of London’s primary international airport passed to London Heathrow Airport and Croydon closed in 1959.
This British civilian airliner that operated in the 1930s was built by British aviation company Handley Page. A total of 8 aircraft were made; 4 versions known as the HP.42 and 4 HP.45. They were a four engine biplane that held the distinction of being the largest airliner in regular use in the world upon the type HP.42 introduction in 1931.
Three of the survivors were pressed into Royal Air Force (RAF) service at the outbreak of the Second World War. By the end of 1940, all of the aircraft had been destroyed as a result of several accidents.
For more information on the Handley Page HP.42 and HP.45, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handley_Page_H.P.42