The only road in London named in honour of the Montgolfier brothers, pioneers of the hot air balloon. Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (August 26, 1740 – June 26, 1810) and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (January 6, 1745 – August 2, 1799) were paper manufacturers from Annonay, France, who are credited with inventing the hot air balloon. Their work allowed the first ever human flight, which took place over Paris on November 21, 1783. This road and others in the vicinity are named after aviators and aircraft in a nod to the nearby RAF Northholt. In fact the airfield predates the establishment of the Royal Air Force by almost three years, having opened as an aerodrome in May 1915, making it the oldest RAF base. Originally established for the Royal Flying Corps, it has the longest history of continuous use of any RAF airfield. The station played a key role during the Battle of Britain, when fighters from several of its units, including No 303 Polish Fighter Squadron, engaged enemy aircraft as part of the defence of London.
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