Monday, 12 October 2009


My latest book was released in the UK on 1 October and is due forworld wide release in December.

'Imperial Airways - The Birth of the British Airline Industry 1914-1940' is published by Ian Allan.

Imperial Airways is a name redolent of the excitement and glamour of the pioneering years of flight. Founded in the 1920s, Imperial Airways flew to destinations all over the world. This beautiful and evocative book on the 'golden age' of passenger flight is the result of years of research, and the text is complemented by a wealth of stunning photographs and ephemera. It is the most definitive book published on the history of Imperial Airways and the formative years of British commercial aviation. The book begins immediately following World War I with the pioneering companies - Air Transport & Travel Ltd (AT&T), Instone, Handley Page, Daimler Airways and others - and shows how, after AT&T's demise, the remaining three companies were brought together in 1924 to form Imperial Airways. The company continued through difficult times, political uncertainties and fierce competition to open routes to India, South Africa and beyond. This was achieved through the untiring efforts of colorful characters such as Sir Sefton Brancker, Herbert Brackley, George Woods Humphery, Sir Eric Geddes and an array of often eccentric pilots such as one-eyed Ray Hinchliffe and 'All-Weather Mac' Robert McIntosh. The book covers all the various different types of aircraft flying at the time. Often out-of-date and, on occasions, considered to be dangerous, the companies maintained a level of safety and reliability that was sometimes against all the odds. This is especially true considering the lack of navigational aids and other equipment that was available. The story continues with the arrival of the legendary HP 42 airliner, the era of the great flying boats and the experimental 'Mercury-Maia' project when routes across the continents were opened to link the British Empire to the motherland during the period between the two wars. The work also covers the important role that Croydon Airport played in the history of commercial aviation. The story concludes in 1940 with the formation of BOAC. This is an intriguing story that represents a journey through time when it could take more than a week to travel by flying boat between Australia and the UK and when passengers flying the near East routes would stay the night at remote desert forts en-route for India.

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