These words, appearing in the preface of Aircraft (1935) written by renowned modernist architect, Le Corbusier, testify to the opening up of a new world of spatial interrogation, of the revealing of a new visual perspective from which to critique landscape traditions and architectural practices. Indeed, Aircraft is, in many ways, a celebration of the development of aviation technologies; comprised primarily of images of aeroplanes, their components, and photographs of the landscape taken from the air. The book casts the aeroplane as a technology of hope, of visual stimuli and craftsmanship, capable of inspiring the architect to adopt a fresh and harmonious approach to their work. While the aeroplane had, since its inception, instilled these feelings of excitement, optimism and promise, its ability to open up the landscape to fuller, clearer and critical interrogation had only just been realised during the First World War. Transformed into a technology of war and utilised for the purposes of aerial reconnaissance (as well as bombing), the vertical, downward looking perspectives of the aeroplane eye revealed features in the landscape which were visually concealed to the grounded observer. As Jay notes, ‘the western front’s interminable trench warfare created a bewildering landscape of indistinguishable, shadowy shapes, illuminated by lightning flashes of blinding intensity, and then obscured by phantasmagoric, often gas-induced haze’ (1994: 212). On a battlefield where effective visual perception was hampered by these effects, and the soldier easily disorientated, the aeroplane eye offered the clearest view of the landscape. As Virilio observes, by this time, ‘aviation was ceasing to be strictly a means of flying and breaking records … it was becoming one way, or perhaps even the ultimate way, of seeing’ (1989: 17). The aeroplane, therefore, became a valuable asset; from the air, observers could easily locate and map enemy trench networks, artillery positions, and other military hardware, as well as record troop movements.