A Fleeting Peace

Golden-Age Aviation in the British Empire


Not everyone wanted to break records, or race other pilots. After WWI, there were huge numbers of surplus aeroplanes, and enormous numbers of surplus pilots, who simply wanted to carry on flying - or perhaps couldn't think of any other way to make a living - and some of them went on to set up 'joy-riding' firms. These companies, (none of which, I suspect, ever made much money) gave thousands of people their first taste of flight, significantly changing the public attitude towards flying.

I have started to describe some of them.


The Aerial Circuses

  cobham team 1933 

And then C D Barnard, the incomparable (so he said, anyway) Sir Alan Cobham, and finally C W A Scott, toured the country giving people the thrill of their lives, in the 'Aerial Circuses':

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Aerial Tours

As the nation became more air-minded in the 20s and 30s, the rise of the private owner-aviator soon meant that people came together to fly in clubs. Here are some typical jaunts they went on.


imperial-airways-poster-3 Imperial Airways came about in 1924, and they ploughed their stately (but, generally, fairly safe) furrow until the outbreak of WWII. Their pilots were amongst the best in the world.

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