Britain's Imperial Air Routes 1918-1939.pdf
This remarkable book pictures the growth of British civil air transport from its inception in 1910 through to the formation of Imperial Airways in 1934 and then the beginnings of British Overseas Airways Corporation. The author shows the impetus given to aircraft production by the First World War, and presents a careful account of the operational and financial fortunes of each of the four principal British airlines which began operations shortly thereafter. The fight against official apathy and lack of foresight on the part of the government, the campaign for subsidies and the struggle with foreign competition are interestingly presented.The development of the chosen-instrument concept in Great Britain is interestingly covered and the use of subsidies in this connection justified in order to place civil aviation on a firm financial base for the establishment of a great British airline to serve the Empire. The result was Imperial Airways, which soon found itself in the awkward position of being expected to be both a successful commercial company and the chosen instrument of imperial policy. The final emergence of British Overseas Airways was the result, and its organization marks the close of the period covered in this volume. Included in the book are comprehensive statistical appendices and a complete bibliography.
Robin Higham is professor emeritus at Kansas State University, and a leading aviation and military historian, a prolific writer and editor, and the author of numerous books in his field. Born in London in 1925 to a British father and American mother, Higham moved to the United States in 1940, shortly after the Battle of Dunkirk