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First Look Review
Flight Mag1909 - 1919 on Disc
The Popular Science of the air.
  • Fight Weekly

by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]

Magazine Characteristics noted by the Aircraft Magazines Guide
". . .Flight' is famous for its technical articles and stunning cutaway drawings of new aircraft types and engines, which appear every 4-5 weeks or so. It was renamed 'Flight International' in 1962. Regular colour illustrations were introduced during the mid 1980s. The number of pages in each issue can vary considerably, but on average there are about 52 pages per issue. Major features include annual surveys of world airlines, world air forces, military aircraft, aero engines, helicopters, commercial airliners etc. . . "

'. . .It was famously parochial and insular before World War II, but this complacent attitude was soon changed by the war. Post-war the magazine has taken an increasingly international, (if Eurocentric), viewpoint, in direct contrast to its American competitor. . . "

'. . .During the early 1990s there was a distinct bias towards commercial aviation, with numerous features on the financial problems of obscure airlines, and relatively little coverage of the important contemporary military issues arising from the end of the Cold War. Under the subsequent editorship of Carol Reed the correct military-civil balance was restored. . . "

History by Phillip Jarrett
"When Flight's first "proper" issue appeared on 2 January 1909, British aviation was in the doldrums. Apart from worthies such as Sir George Cayley, William Henson and John Stringfellow, Frederick Wenham, Percy Pilcher and Horatio Phillips, the previous decades had seen fitful progress. From 1903 the Wright brothers had been making powered flights in the USA, and in 1908 other leading pioneers such as Louis Blériot and Glenn Curtiss began to make tentative flights.

The wake-up call came from France in 1908, when English-born Henri Farman won 50,000 francs on 13 January by flying a circular 1km (0.54nm) course. Then, in August, Wilbur Wright astounded the world with the first demonstrations of practical powered flight at Le Mans. Another American, SF Cowdery ("Colonel Cody"), accomplished the first powered, sustained and controlled flight in the UK, at Farnborough on 16 October 1908, in British Army Aeroplane No 1.

While activity accelerated in France and the USA, UK aviators struggled in 1909 but nevertheless the magazine's first year was to be a momentous one for aviation. In its first issue Flight reported that JTC Moore-Brabazon was making flights in his Voisin biplane at Issy in France, and gave a brief account of the work of the Aerial Experiment Association in Canada and the USA, but carried no word of British experiments.

In February 1909 the Short brothers were contracted to build six Wright Flyers, valued at £8,400, in the UK, becoming the first British company to manufacture aeroplanes in series. On 19-27 March the first "British Aero Show" took place at Olympia in London, a prominent exhibit being Moore-Brabazon's Voisin. In this on 30 April he made the first accredited flight by an Englishman in England, flying a distance of 137m (450ft) at Leysdown, Isle of Sheppey. Then, on 14 May, in his rebuilt British Army Aeroplane No 1, Cody few for more than a mile over Laffan's Plain, Hampshire. , ,"

". . .In 1915 the Allies suffered heavy losses on the Western Front to the new Fokker monoplanes with interrupter gear enabling their machine guns to fire directly ahead through the propeller arc. Before such gear became available for Allied aircraft the only response was to use cumbersome mountings directing the gunfire clear of the propeller, or pusher biplanes.

The menace of German rigid airships was gradually overcome, Flt Sub-Lt Warneford earning the VC for bringing down LZ.37 on 7 June 1915, and Lt Leefe Robinson for putting paid to the SL11 over Cuffley, Hertfordshire, on 3 September 1916.

Wartime restrictions deprived Flight of official information on British frontline aircraft, but the magazine overcame the problem by publishing translations of German descriptions of captured Allied aircraft, complementing these with British reports on captured enemy machines. Aircraft evolved continuously on both sides, the outstanding British fighters from 1916 onwards being the Sopwith Camel and Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a, while Germany fielded the Fokker Dr.1 triplane and DVII. On 1 April 1918, Britain's two air arms were merged to create the Royal Air Force. . ."

From Mr. Derek Riley who composed the discs and created their index presented here.
"To the user, Mar. 4, 2008;
Most of the files on this CD were downloaded from the internet for free. They were on the Flight International magazine website during the last few months of 2007 at http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/index.html.

The online web site of "flightglobal" was provided by Reed Business Information Limited (‘RBI’). RBI granted me a non-exclusive license to access and use the Materials for my personal purposes.

As my interest is mainly early flight and aeronautics during WWI, I kept to the years of 1909 through 1919 so there are 11 CDs, 13,805 pages in this partial collection, each page downloaded separately during my evenings and weekends for almost three months.

I took the liberty of correcting the page numbers to correspond with the real page numbers and then placed a full year of issues into one PDF package file with an index (only one index was on the web, I received one from a fellow
WWI enthusiast and purchased the others). Each disk constitutes one year or one volume worth of issues, they average over 1250 pages per volume. There are two indexes in each file the first one, at the top is a reworked copy
of the original and a little easier to read, the original one is at the end of the file.

There are a few missing pages from the web site and a big thank you goes out to members of Cross & Cockade International WWI Discussion Mailing List as I have received some help from them in locating some of these pages to add where I could. There is a "Missing Page" place holder in the files where this occurs and if by chance you find one of the missing pages, I would like to hear from you and add it to the collection.

I used Adobe Acrobat version 8.1 to create these files but you should be able to read them with Adobe Reader 5 or better, if not you may need to update your reader. You can download the latest version of Adobe Reader for free
from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html .

The files are still fully searchable but you can go directly to any page number from the index by typing it into the page number box at the top of the reader.

There is a lot of very fascinating reading on these disks and I hope you enjoy them. Any compensation I received for putting these free files on to disks (EDIT: and his efforts on composing the index) for you is appreciated.

Best Wishes
Derek Riley"

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Excellent source of the original magazine's great information text & images. The real boon is the index Mr. Riley has worked up. It makes the search for specific information easy.
Lows: Labor intensive research. Index - magazines on disc - 3 views are separate entities. Index and three views can be loaded to computer but the 11 discs should be used as a library tool.
Verdict: Definitely a must for dedicated research fiends, enthusiasts and devotees of early aviation subjects.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: Set 001
  Suggested Retail: 25.00USD
  Related Link: Free list of 3-view drawings in
  PUBLISHED: Feb 09, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

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About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


The original thread on the subject. Click Here.
FEB 09, 2009 - 04:11 AM

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