Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 17 items for :

  • "Alan Cobham" x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
Abstract only
British imperial civil aviation, 1919–39
Author: Gordon Pirie

The whole business of British air transport during the period of 1919-1939 was infused with muddle, belt-and-braces attitudes and old-fashioned company ideas. The conditions of inter-war Britain militated against new technology, fresh approach to management, organization and the relationships between capital and the state. This book provides unrivalled insights into the massive hopes engendered by the supposed conquest of the air, and the ways in which these were so swiftly squandered. Aeronautical societies attempted to spark initiatives through 'juvenile' lectures. The initial pioneering efforts were in the form of trans-Atlantic flights by ex-RAF pilots, the journey of Smith brothers to Australia, and flights across Africa. The book discusses the efforts towards organising the civil aviation and propagation to serve the cause of air communication, and the reconnaissance mission of Alan Cobham and Sefton Brancker to negotiate over-flying and landing facilities. Empire route development took place in stages, starting with the Middle East before venturing to India and Africa. However, organised Empire aviation was alive only in the form of occasional news items and speeches. The book examines the stresses of establishing Britain's eastern airway, and the regularisation of air services to Africa. Criticisms on Imperial Airways due to its small fleet and the size subsidy, and the airline's airmail service are also dealt with. As part of reconfiguration, the airlines had to focus more on airmail, which also saw a curtailment of its independence. Imperial Airways was finally nationalised in 1938 as British Overseas Airways Corporation.

Gordon Pirie

young English pilot named Alan Cobham fixed a more Spartan journey by air. It was he who raised an additional £750 to cover the flight and who piloted Brancker on the journey. Cobham had no difficulty raising the extra money from the aeronautical industry that grasped the propaganda value of a flight by the Director of Civil Aviation. Portentously, the two travelled in an aeroplane belonging to and

in Air empire
Gordon Pirie

it was in the mid-1920s when Sir Alan Cobham was grabbing news headlines that he learnt most about the geography of the Empire. Less exciting than flying itself, but more digestible than a hefty ministerial document, news reports about Empire flying were a way of ‘teaching the geography of the Empire in most dramatic fashion’. As the Prince of Wales had remarked after listening to Sykes talk

in Air empire
Abstract only
Gordon Pirie

Alan Cobham’s four path-breaking flights outward from London and back again between 1924 and 1927, individual pilots and their small teams of assistants continued trying to set height, speed or endurance records, or to notch up some other achievement. These aviators drew attention to themselves and to their country’s modernity and industrial prowess. Successful pilots became national emblems

in Cultures and caricatures of British imperial aviation
On the road with a colonial meteorologist
Martin Mahony

meteorology themselves (though there were a few observatories where meteorology could piggy-back on what had been seen as the more important sciences of astronomy and magnetism). 17 Against maps of expected imperial air routes was compared the state of meteorological infrastructures on the ground below. Somewhere like British Malaya, for instance, was considered one of several ‘non-meteorological countries’ at the end of the 1920s. 18 When Alan Cobham made his famous flight to Australia in 1926, he found in Malaya that it was ‘most difficult to ascertain anything definite

in Empire and mobility in the long nineteenth century
Abstract only
The limits of British imperial aeromobility
Liz Millward

. Gordon Pirie identifies the tireless efforts of Alan Cobham, following his pioneering flights to India, Australia, Africa and back in the mid-1920s, as the motor force that helped make the British an air-minded population. Joseph Corn suggests that in the USA Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927 and the enormous media hype surrounding it generated widespread enthusiasm for flying as part of the national culture. 5 To be air-minded suggested an attitude which communicated a modern sensibility but did not necessarily change behaviour, except

in Empire and mobility in the long nineteenth century
Abstract only
Gordon Pirie

as a shake of the hand, cigarettes, grins and gestures’. 7 Sir Alan Cobham, who could be dismissive, recorded that when he visited Malakal during his 1925/26 African flight, Sudan’s Shilluk people took no interest in his aeroplane, seeing it as ‘just another example of the white man’s madness’. Yet, with some insight, he noted that other imported technology (water tanks, pipes

in Cultures and caricatures of British imperial aviation
Abstract only
Gordon Pirie

, the rigger who accompanied him and Alcock across the Atlantic in 1919 spoke briefly on radio. In the 1950s and 1960s, BBC recordings were made with Sir Alan Cobham and with Capt. O. P. Jones of Imperial . Interviews with Amy Johnson were replayed. Imperial flying nostalgia was being stoked. In June 1961 the Broadcasting Corporation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland produced a programme

in Cultures and caricatures of British imperial aviation
Gordon Pirie

organised transport. The Daily Telegraph’s Calcutta correspondent criticised the scandalous bog-like conditions and scrap yard scene confronting Sir Alan Cobham when he landed there in 1926. A scathing editorial in a 1926 number of The Near East and India lashed out at the apathy of the Indian authorities. Its parting shot was patronising advice that if they refused to act swiftly, a powerful

in Air empire
Abstract only
Gordon Pirie

increasing the flow of settlers and capital. Contact between the East African dependencies was also forecast to improve. Having himself flown in East Africa and attended the governors’ conference at which plans for regional aviation were approved, Sir Alan Cobham soon joined forces with Blackburn. By mid-1927, after completing only five of the twenty-four flights, Gladstone had

in Air empire