The Art of RAF Display Flying is an exciting photographic history book looks at all aspects of RAF display flying, past, present and future. Since the Hendon Air Pageant of 1920, the RAF has been entertaining crowds with their displays. This book traces the history of these events from their early days, through the '50s and '60s heyday of jet display flying with the numerous teams of now classic aircraft (BAC Jet provost, Hawker Hunter, English Electric Lightning, Folland Gnat), to the current gruelling selection and training processes faced by modern teams like the Red Arrows, exploring the technicalities, difficulties, and thrill of photographing this fast-paced and colourful world.
"The Royal Air Force has long recognized the value of display flying for pilot training, prestige and recruiting purposes, and the standard of its formation aerobatic teams has always stood favorable comparison with those of air forces of other nations.Aerobatics have always played a prominent part in RAF training. They are not performed merely to provide a spectacle for the public but are an essential step in the making of a pilot, giving him confidence in himself and his aircraft. Formation aerobatics give him the added factor of confidence in his leader and other members of the team.This history of RAF aerobatic teams is the result of many years of painstaking and meticulous research from its early beginnings with five Sop with Snipes at the Hendon Pageant in 1920 to the present day 'Red Arrows'.The book also contains an introduction which details the gradual development from experimental and 'stunt' flying of the early aviators, through the aerial artistry of using smoke to highlight maneuvers and tied-together formation aerobatics, to the introduction of jet teams after the war. Also included in the book is a detailed index listing each team and its members from 1920 and it will undoubtedly provide an essential reference work on Royal Air Force formation aerobatic teams for aviation historians and enthusiasts."
"Military public relations endeavors ultimately seek to build a sense of common interests and aims, and so generally foster good relations with the people they defend, and there in ensure a stable society. The armed forces when engaging on any public relations exercise, have traditionally sought to provide an entertaining spectacle. For years this has been typified by parades, bands, mock battles, drill displays and other relevant feats of military prowess which have captured the imagination of the public and inspired potential recruits. The 20th Century brought a new dimension to the field of warfare and subsequently added a new strand to the fabric of public ceremony and displays by the armed forces. That new dimension was the arrival of powered flight.Display flying began within five years of the Wright Brothers making their milestone first flight. The first events staged in Britain which centered on demonstrations by flying machines, were organized by the town councils of Blackpool and Doncaster and were held within days of each other in October 1909. 1920 was the year that the first of the famed and legendary Hendon Air Pageants was staged, and this is where military air shows traditionally began. The Hendon Displays were organized and staged by the still fledging Royal Air Force and it was probably due in no small part to the prestige and spectacle of this fresh new dimension of military pageantry, together with other like events held at RAF airfields through the next two decades, that the very existence of the RAF was saved from the threat of abolition. The history of the RAF's commitment (one that compares almost uniquely with other air forces) toward display flying through the years after World War II has now come of age. This account of their record in this often overlooked but then again traditional field of military customs, describes and illustrates the major public RAF events since 1920."
This is the story of military aviation in Rhodesia from the romantic days of 'bush' flying in the 1920s and '30s-when aircraft were refueled from jerrycans and landing grounds were often the local golf course-to the disbandment of the Rhodesian Air Force (RhAF) on Zimbabwean independence in 1980. In 1939 the tiny Royal Rhodesian Air Force (RRAF) became the first to take up battle stations even before the outbreak of the Second World War. The three Rhodesian squadrons served with distinction in East Africa, the Western Desert, Italy and Western Europe. At home Rhodesia became a vast training ground for airmen from across the Empire-from Britain, the Commonwealth and even Greece. After the war, Rhodesia, on a negligible budget, rebuilt its air force, equipping it with Ansons, Spitfires, Vampires, Canberras, Hunters and Alouettes. Following UDI, the unilateral declaration of independence from Britain in 1965, international sanctions were imposed, resulting in many remarkable and groundbreaking innovations, particularly in the way of ordnance. The bitter 'bush war' followed in the late 1960s and '70s, with the RhAF in the vanguard of local counterinsurgency operations and audacious preemptive strikes against vast guerrilla bases in neighboring Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana and as far afield as Angola and Tanzania. With its aging fleet, including C-47 'Dakotas' that had been at Arnhem, the RhAF was able to wreak untold havoc on the enemy, Mugabe's ZANLA and Nkomo's ZIPRA. The late author took over 30 years in writing this book; the result is a comprehensive record that reflects the pride, professionalism and dedication of what were some of the world's finest airmen of their time. The late Beryl Salt was born in London in 1931. She emigrated to Southern Rhodesia in 1952 to get married in Salisbury, where her two sons were born. In 1953 she joined the Southern Rhodesian Broadcasting Services (later the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation, the RBC). With a love of history she wanted to find out as much as she could about her new country. This interest led to radio dramas and feature programmes, followed by several books: School History Text Book, The Encyclopaedia of Rhodesia and The Valiant Years, a history of the country as seen through the newspapers. She also produced a dramatized radio series about the Rhodesian Air Force. In 1965 she left the RBC and spent three years with the Ministry of Information, following which she was a freelance writer/broadcaster involved in a wide variety of projects until 1980 when she moved to Cape Town. She died in England in November 2001.
The Men Who Fly and the Skill of the Photograhers that Capture Them
Author: Michael Leek
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
The UK has some of the most dramatic landscapes for NATO pilots to exercise the increasingly important military art of high-speed low flying. It also offers splendid opportunities for photography of close-up dramatic shots taken from the hillsides and mountains of Wales, Scotland and other steep terrain within the UK. Pilots training for operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other potential war zones, learn their skills flying through the valleys of the UK at near subsonic speed. For the legions of enthusiastic aviation photographers, thousands of whom can be seen at air shows, it provides ideal viewpoints.This book contains firsthand accounts from the pilots and expert advice for the photographer, together with stunning close-up color photos of the aircraft flying at eye-level and sometimes below the camera. It has the full support of the Royal Air Force and articles by the leading photographers in this field.
Memoirs of an RAF Fighter Pilot and Former Officer Commanding the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Author: Clive Rowley
Publisher: Air World
For forty-four years, Clive Rowley flew with the Royal Air Force and for thirty-one of those years he specialised as an air defence fighter pilot. Such was his love of fast fighter aircraft that, in order to stay flying, he transferred to Specialist Aircrew terms of service, relinquishing any chance of further promotion above his rank of squadron leader. During those years Clive flew Lightnings, Hawks and Tornado F.3s but, perhaps more intriguingly, for eleven years he flew Hurricanes and Spitfires with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), the RAF's, if not the world's most famous 'warbird' display team, which he ultimately led and commanded. Many readers will have watched him, perhaps unknowingly, as he flew these iconic aircraft, often alongside the Lancaster, at air shows and large-scale commemorations around the UK and Europe. During the Cold War Clive flew the BAC Lightning from Gütersloh in Germany and in the UK, becoming an expert in the art of air combat in the process. Then for sixteen years he flew the Tornado F.3 as the RAF moved into expeditionary operations. Packed with humorous and often hair-raising anecdotes, but also revealing the shock and sorrow he felt at the deaths of friends and colleagues, this book is a highly detailed account of life as a fighter pilot in the RAF in the last three decades of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Clive is open about the fears he sometimes felt in this dangerous world and how he allayed them to continue flying for more than four decades. This book is illustrated with wonderful photographs from his time on the front line as well as with the BBMF, many of which have never been published before. If you have ever wondered what it is like to fly supersonic jet fighters, like the Lightning and the Tornado F.3, or iconic 'warbirds', such as the Hurricane and Spitfire, Clive Rowley brings you into those cockpits and shares his experiences.
20 Years of Front-Line and Display Flying in the Cold War Era
Author: Tony Doyle
Publisher: Pen and Sword
This is the autobiography of an outstanding fighter pilot during his twenty year career with the Royal Air Force. Tony Doyle first flew when in the CCF where he complted a glider course and then a highly-prized Flying Scholarship. This opened the way to joining the RAF and becoming an all-weather tactical fighter pilot flying de Havilland Vampires and Gloster Meteors. At this he excelled and was posted as a flying instructor and then Staff Instructor. This was the age when the Jet Provost was the standard training aircraft. During 1962 he was selected to fly with the newly formed Red Pelicans aerobatic display team and honed his skills as a display pilot. Tony moved to RAF Valley as the new Folland Gnat was being introduced in the training role. This diminutive aircraft was somewhat of a breakthrough and after ironing out several design problems it proved a superb aircraft, being fast and agile. The general public were eager to see this new RAF addition and Tony became its display pilot, flying at open days throughout the UK and Europe. In 1964 Tony converted to the English Electric Lightning, Britains one and only supersonic fighter, with a top speed in excess of Mach 2 and a ceiling of 50,000 feet. He was posted to Treble One Squadron at Wattisham in October 1964 as part of the Quick Reaction Alert force against potential Russian bomber attacks. Once again he became the Lightnings chosen low-level display pilot and demonstrated it at the 1965 Paris Air Show. Shortly after this he was forced to eject over the North Cornish coast after an engine explosion cause the loss of elevator control. This fascinating account of front-line and display flying goes into considerable detail of the aerodynamic qualities of the types flown, their dangers and advantages. There are many life-threatening incidents and successes that will educate anyone who is interested in flying at the very edge.
For anyone who has ever wondered what it's like to fly the SR-71 on a secret Mach 3 reconnaissance mission, this book has the answer. Completely redesigned and updated with photos from author Colonel Richard H. Graham's personal archive, as well as a new introduction, Flying the SR-71 Blackbird details what an SR-71 mission entailed, from planning to donning a pressure suit to returning to base. The Lockheed SR-71, unofficially known as the Blackbird, was an advanced, long-range, Mach 3 strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed by Lockheed Skunk Works. The aircraft flew so fast and high that not one was ever shot down, even by a missile. SR-71 pilot and instructor Colonel Richard Graham offers a rare cockpit perspective on how regular Air Force pilots and navigators transformed themselves into SR-71 Blackbird crews, turning their unique aviation talents to account in an unprecedented way. Arguably the world's foremost expert on piloting the Blackbird, Graham takes readers along on an operational mission that only a few Air Force pilots have ever experienced.
These 'British Isles' of ours are populated by people who originate from throughout the world; from North, South, East and West. Individually, or as family groups, they will have come to start a new life; to escape from persecution, hunger or despair. It is our strength because somehow we learn to adapt ourselves to meet our own, and other's needs, no matter how daunting they may be. Tony and Nita Zweigbergk learned to do just that during their, very different, childhood and teenage years. Then they met and fell in love. Then along came World War II. We are privileged to share these experiences, plus by reading between the lines we are able to share the boredom, depression, comradeship, fun, fear and sorrow that became the life of those who lived 'on the edge of life and death' to ensure our precious freedom.