On 27.1.1911 Captain HPT Lefroy, Royal Engineers, succeeded in establishing communication between a ground station and an army airship for the first time. Lefroy recorded in his logbook:

“Petrol pipe on engine burst when half-a-mile from Balloon Factory. I was at once informed A S X (Aldershot wireless telegrahic atation) of this and told him to try and get me now the engine was not running. He at once started up and I got very loud signals and read: ‘All your signlas good, but…’, and then engine was off again so I lost the rest. Quite impossible to hear signals (when engine running so close) without any special device as sound-proof helmet – could not even hear the test buzzer and barely hear the spark gap; returned to Factory and landed safety about 5:10 pm.” (quoted in ‘The Air Weapon’, CF Snowden Gamble, p145).

During the Summer of 1911, Lefroy spent much time designing a transmitter set suitable for use in aeroplanes. In January, 1912, a series of experiments were made with the first BE1, piloted by Geoffrey de Havilland.