Empire airway pioneering
in Air empire
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W. G. H. Salmond initially thought of involving existing British air transport companies but he concluded quickly that each was too self-absorbed. The Atlantic crossing had been 'by a British pilot and navigator, in a British machine powered by British engines'. In recognition of a staggering achievement generally, but in celebration of a triumph for British aviation in particular, both J. R. Alcock and A. W. Brown were made Knights Commander of the British Empire. Ignoring the prospect of direct air service between England and Empire, J. B. Seely judged that Egypt would be 'an ideal starting point' for air journeys to India, Australasia, and central, East and South Africa. Not only did the Smiths link Britain and Australia by air, but the Royal Air Force (RAF) ended its African air route survey and its programme of establishing basic aviation infrastructure.

Air empire

British imperial civil aviation, 1919–39


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