A Hundred Years of the RAF Air Display

A Hundred Years of the RAF Air Display

By Ian Smith Watson



For 100 years, the world's oldest independent air force, the RAF, forged a distinguished record in military air operations from the First World War through to recent operations over Iraq and Syria. There is, however, a field of endeavor in which the Royal Air Force has excelled: selling its public image. Of the three armed services, the air force is the one perfectly placed to advertise its wares 'at home' with the facilities to accommodate large audiences, through scintillating flying displays with ever more impressive aircraft and large airfields with readily available facilities. Originally centered on the RAF station at Hendon in North London, the RAF held its first public 'Air Pageant' in 1920. A grand affair, it continued as an annual event until 1937 when it was succeeded by the wide spread 'Empire Air Day' held at several RAF stations until war intervened in 1939. The RAF came to true military prominence during the Second World War, particularly the 'Battle of Britain'; this then became the focus of the celebration and commemoration. However, the Battle of Britain Displays constantly contracted, eventually to zero, but for much of their existence were the most impressive air shows around the globe.

ISBN: 9781781558430


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