Aircraft of Imperial Airways

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by Haversack, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. Haversack

    Haversack One Too Many

    Clipperton Island
    There have been some great threads here about Golden Age Air Travel and the Clippers which flew the Pacific and Atlantic. However, I recently re-watched Ian McKellen's Richard III set in an alternate 1930s. In it, Maggie Smith as the Duchess of York, (and looking very much like Queen Mary of Teck), departs Shoreham Aerodrome in a beautiful de Havilland Rapide. This reminded me that there were other airliners out there with impeccible art deco styling besides the familiar Boeings, Lockheeds, Martins, and Douglases.

    Remembering the two-stage flying boat which flew from Scotland to South Africa, I searched for Imperial Airways and found the following site:

    What I found especially evocative of the age of exotic air travel was the list of all the aircraft IA flew over the years and what became of each one. Many were handed over to the military during the war or were scrapped afterwards. However, there are always accidents and where they occurred sounds like the itinerary of an adventurous archeologist: Assuan 1931, Batavia 1939, Alexandria 1935, Kisimu 1938.

    Also evocative is that each aircraft had its own name just like the best Pullman cars and these reflected both a classical education and wideness of the world: City of Khartoum, Hengist, Daedalus, City of Chicago, etc.

    I would post pictures of some of the aircraft if I could: Short S23 Empire Flying Boats, Handley-Page HP42, de Havilland DH 91 Albatross. However, I will have to leave this for others.

    Does anyone know about other Golden Age airliners?

  2. J. M. Stovall

    J. M. Stovall Call Me a Cab

    Wow! Awesome site, it's always amazes me all these things are out there. Maybe we should have some kind of categorized links page for all the stuff that loungers find. It would be a lot easier than searching old threads.
  3. Dixon Cannon

    Dixon Cannon My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Sonoran Desert Hideaway
    My all time favorite is....

    The Douglas DC-4E "Super Mainliner" Sovereign of the Skies

    I've created a blog for it at the following address; complete with rare pictures. I've got two vintage balsa models of this airplane from the period as well.

    -dixon cannon
  4. The D.A.

    The D.A. Familiar Face

    Lawrence, Kansas
    Haversack--Thanks for the link. Britain and the Empire in the '30s is a particular interest of mine. I especially love some of the Imperial Airways posters. Replicas can be found at sites like One of my favorites is the poster that shows four or five aircraft with cutaways.
  5. Mojave Jack

    Mojave Jack One Too Many

    Yucca Valley, California
    Great site, Haversack! Thanks!

    So little attention is paid to civil aviation that it is sometimes hard to find information like this. This is a really interesting source of info, and a great glimpse of the aircraft they were using on those exotic air routes. I especially liked the Handley-Pages. The early ones clearly show their bomber roots, and the H.P.42W is really something! I think one of the most beautiful aircraft on that site has got to be the de Havilland D.H.86, though.


    What a beaut!

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