From War to Peace: A Photographer’s View of British Aviation during the 1940s

Author(s): Richard Riding 

ISBN: 9781781553312
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One man’s photographic record of the British aviation scene during wartime and the immediate post-war period of the 1940s.
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  • A treasure trove of evocative post-war images recording Britain’s attempt to regain the lead in the aviation market
  • Many photographs of former warplanes earmarked for civil conversion and commercial use, but left abandoned at airfields all over the country
  • Many in-flight photographs of light aircraft used by flying clubs of the period
  • Superbly illustrated with 390 completely unique photographs; no other collection is so comprehensive


From War to Peace: A Photographer’s View of British Aviation during the 1940s is a photographic record of the aviation scene in Britain between the years 1940-1949. The photographs were taken by E. J. Riding (1916-1950) who spent his working life in the aviation industry, but was tragically killed in a flying accident. During his short life, he worked as an aircraft engineer, professional photographer, draughtsman, aero-modeller and aviation writer. Riding began taking photographs of aircraft in 1931 aged fifteen. Fortunately, he kept copious notes recording the locations and dates of when and where aircraft were photographed.

During the 1940s, he covered the rapid transition from propeller-driven aircraft to first-generation jets. The early part of the book covers Riding’s wartime work as an aircraft inspector with two major aircraft companies, mostly illustrated with photographs taken surreptitiously. Once civil aviation returned in January 1946, Riding took many air-to-air photographs of light aircraft that made regular visits to Heathrow and Croydon to photograph the new generation of airliners.

Three Farnborough air shows are featured in addition to several race meetings, including one featuring the latest piston and jet fighters.

BOOK ISBN 9781781553312
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 256 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 October 2016
TERRITORY World
ILLUSTRATIONS 390 black-and-white photographs








Richard Riding was born in 1942 and employed as an aerial photographer during 1958-62. He was a freelance photographer in 1962-71, specialising in aerial photography and photographing pop singers for Polydor Records. Riding joined the editorial staff of Flight International magazine in 1971-73 and founded Aeroplane Monthly in 1973. Previous books include Ultralights – The Early British Classics (Patrick Stephens, 1987), Elstree Aerodrome: An Illustrated History (co-written with Grant Peerless, 2003), Leavesden Aerodrome: From Halifaxes to Hogwarts (co-written with Grant Peerless, 2011). Plus hundreds of aviation articles published in Aeroplane Monthly.


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