This essay argues that 20th century England should be seen as a technological, industrial and militant nation. It is a refutation of many of the arguments of "declinists" like Martin Wiener, Correlli Barnett and Perry Anderson. Contrary to myth, English aviation and the aircraft industry were strong, due to the vital place that technology had in English "liberal militarism", as well as English enthusiasm for, rather than fear of, the aeroplane. This enthusiasm was predominantly right-wing and sometimes pro-Nazi. The book also shows how many firms opposed central elements of 1930s rearmament policy, and that a famous aircraft firm was nationalized during World War II, and how the 1945-51 Labour government "privatized" aircraft plants and jet engine design. In the 1950s the aeroplane remained central to the "warfare state" but also became the symbol of a new manufacturing England, a situation which Harold Wilson's "White Heat" sought to change.