A Hundred Years of RAF Air Displays 1920-2020

Author(s): Ian Smith Watson 

ISBN: 9781781558430
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A comprehensive study of the RAF’s lesser-known brilliance: the spectacle of aviation over 100 years on centre stage.
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  • Many unpublished personal accounts of pilots, aircrew and the viewing public

  • Essential for military/historians, modellers, flight-sim enthusiasts (War Thunder, IL-2 Sturmovik: Great Battles and DCS) and those interested in RAF air displays and aerobatics

  • Historically rich in detail with previously unpublished black-and-white photographs from private archives and collections

Founded on 1 April 1918, the Royal Air Force has forged a distinguished operational record. As the first independent air force, the service also had to fight initial scepticism from the Army and Navy.

The first CAS, Lord Trenchard, courted public support through a field of endeavour, which the RAF was perfectly placed to present: the air display. The first event was held at Hendon in north London in 1920. With the facilities to accommodate large audiences, essentially an airfield, and the resources to facilitate impressive flying demonstrations, the RAF’s survival was assured. From 1934, ‘Empire Air Day’ expanded the opportunity for public attendance by involving several RAF stations across the country until war intervened in 1939.

True prominence for the ‘junior service’ came during the Second World War, particularly during the Battle of Britain, later the focal point of celebration and commemoration in the post-war era. As the years passed, the RAF has contracted, and other factors have conspired to make air displays ever more challenging, while military displays remain in high demand.


BOOK ISBN 9781781558430
FORMAT 238 x 172 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 320 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 2 July 2022
TERRITORY World
ILLUSTRATIONS 228 black-and-white photographs

 







Ian Smith Watson was born in 1960 and served in the RAF from 1977 to 1990 as an Air Defence Radar Operator. He also worked in Saudi Arabia from 1991 to 1993 on contract to the RSAF under the GENA programme and received the FAA Flight Despatch Licence in 1993. His first book was The Royal Air Force At Home.

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