The Story of the Spitfire:
The Spitfire is probably the most famous aircraft ever to fly. Synonymous with power, classic looks and a killer instinct, the Spitfire could outfly and outfight virtually anything Germany and Japan tried to throw against it. Designed in the 1930s, made famous in the 1940s and still the darling of the airshow scene in the 1990s, the Spitfire was a bold design, from a bold designer – RJ Mitchell. It was conceived in the days of peace when radical ideas were not wanted by the RAF, but Mitchell had designed a war machine, a killer, an aircraft that would take the RAF into a new era. Between 1938 and 1947 over 20,000 Spitfires were built, the last, a Mark 24, leaving the production line at Eastleigh in October 1947. But it wasn’t quite the last. So popular is the Spitfire today that a new factory has opened building Spitfires and their spares, and building them once again under the famous name of their originator – Supermarine. SPITFIRE – POWER, GRACE AND GLORY takes a fresh look at the decisions behind the aircraft, its design, testing, complicated manufacture and operational life as well as the attributes that have kept it so popular for 60 years. Walk-arounds show the unique technical advances that were used to develop both the Merlin and Griffon-engined marks of Spitfire. Stunning new air-to-air footage including a simulated dogfight between Spitfire and Messerschmidt Me 109, rare archive film, new aircraft production and exclusive interviews with those men who designed, built, flew and continue to fly their precious Spitfires, make this programme essential viewing for anyone interested in aviation.
Early Jets of the RAF:
Return to a golden era of British aviation - when the RAF was at the height of its powers as the second largest air force in the world and the nation's aircraft industry led the way in jet aircraft design. This unique new video features all the major jet aircraft types in service with the RAF from 1945 to the mid-1950s, including several different marks of Meteor, the de Havilland Vampire and Venom, Supermarine Swift, Hawker Hunter, Canberra and Javelin - plus early experimental jet projects including the AW52, Fairey Delta 2, Bristol 188 and P1127 VTOL prototype. World record flights, formation flying, Farnborough appearances, combat manoeuvres and rare early colour film footage are all included, together with the might of the RAF on full display for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth during the 1953 Coronation Review. Serving RAF pilots plus many of the leading test pilots of the era - including legends Peter Twiss, John Cunningham, James Cooksey, Duncan Simpson, Godfrey Auty, Richard Martin, Jo Lancaster and Roland ŒBee¹ Beamont - have been especially interviewed for this video, their unique accounts providing an unrivalled insight into these classic jet aircraft and their capabilities.
Forgotten Bombers of the RAF:
Today, the Avro Lancaster is undoubtedly the most famous bomber employed by the RAF during the Second World War - but there were many other bombers which deserved to be remembered. This programme tells the story of those wartime British bombers that have been largely "forgotten" either because they have been overlooked in favour of the Lancaster and other four-engine "Heavies" or because there has been very little film footage found (until now) of their service careers. Aircraft such as the Avro Anson, Fairey Battle, Handley Page Harrow, Bristol Bombay, Vickers Wellesley, Handley Page Hampden, Vickers Wellington, Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, Handley Page Halifax, Short Stirling, Bristol Blenheim, Martin Maryland, Martin Baltimore, Vultee Vengeance, Lockheed Hudson and Ventura, Consolidated Liberator and Boeing Flying Fortress are all featured in RAF service on this unique DVD. Rare film footage, some of which has never been made available on DVD before, shows these "forgotten" bombers in action over Europe, the Western Desert and the Far East. Manufacturer¹s footage, RAF operational material and historic reports from the Movietone archive combine with extensive air-to-air film to provide an excellent visual reference library. The capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of each aircraft type are appraised, while veteran pilots and aircrews reveal what it was really like to fly and fight in them. Expert commentary is provided by leading aviation historian Robin Neillands, author of The Bomber War, and coverage is also provided of the very first RAF "1,000 bomber raid" on Cologne, in which a very diverse range of bombers took part..