Film: 5134

Aviation | 1940 | Sound | B/W


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Training Pilots for the Fleet Air Arm. 1940's

Statue of Nelson. Nelson's Column, London. The Admiralty in Whitehall. Find, Fix and Strike the enemy. Navy men enter the Admiralty. Battleship with ensign flag. The ships of the Fleet Air Arm. The Ark Royal, view of hull, sailors parade on deck; milling around on deck in shorts. Recruits in civilian clothes with suitcases walk to H.M.S. Vincent, a shore training station. Recruit comes out of door reading "Selection Board" and makes the 'thumbs up' sign. He has done an entrance exam. The board asks a few questions. He identifies some model battleships. Medical examination. Big man gets measured. Form filled in. Blowing into tube. Eye test. Hearing tested with a tuning fork. Victualling Officer. Clothing store. Men try on hats and change into sailor suit. Man adjusts another's collar. Black silk scarf. Clothes stamped with owner's name. Sailor admires himself in the mirror. Tannoy says all hands muster for duty. Parade ground of sailors. Assault course. Rope-handling skills taught.
Sailors march through arch of H.M.S. Vincent. Observers and air-gunners in the classroom; classroom full of model 'planes of all types and nations. Aircraft identification. Observers on simulated air-to-sea identification. Wireless operators with head sets. Spotting ship on simulator. As in aircraft, reporting ship movements, course and speeds. Puff shoot table where you learn to spot the gunfire. Learning use of navigation board. Plotting course of yourself and the enemy's position. Sailors of the Fleet Air Arm get into a bi-plane, De Havilland Moths and Miles Magisters. Dual control. Officer watches from control tower. Flying and launching, a bit of a bounce, but not bad, immediate take-off, to come round and do it again. Camera angle side on.
Officer signals with a lamp from the control tower (semaphore). It's a better landing second time. Airplane comes to a standstill. Close-up of the instructor and pilot getting out. Pilot does his first solo. Close-up of pilot in his seat, downs his goggles, opens his throttle and takes off. Instructor watches and lights his pipe. Close-up of gloved hand on joystick and pilot's face. Empty dual control position. Aerial views of the aerodrome. Turns in to land, aerial views, messes it up, nearly hits control tower, climbs into sky again, view of runway. Good landing. Pilot cheers in his seat. Pilots lying around on the grass of the aerodrome. Instructor demonstrates with wild hand-gestures. Pilots point at the sky. Three planes together - Gloucester Gladiators; acrobatics in Gloucesters. Rolls. Swordfish. Fulmars, with its wheels down to land; it lands. Fulmars are single-wing, single-engine fighter aircraft. Practice torpedoes wheeled out and loaded on the underside of the 'planes. Close-up of Moth in air carrying a torpedo; drops it over the sea. Close-up of a pilot's commission - officer's armband. H.M.S. Condor in Scotland. Barracks; reveille. Men rub their eyes and get up. Wrens cooking breakfast in the canteen. Flyers and technicians line up for food. Eating. Fuelling the 'planes, which are Albatrosses, in rows in a field. Parachute packing. Women give out parachutes. Learning about deck landing - "Easy as falling off a bicycle!" Officers stand as instructor enters; sits in front of blackboard. Landing for hook wires. Deck is 40ft x 400ft. Bat signals. Instructions shown. Swordfish comes in to practise landing. Arrester gear in close-up. Bat signaller dives for cover. Appointment to a ship. Close-up of 'planes taking off. Instructor waves them off with flags. Lots of take-offs - all bi-planes. Aerial views in formation. Aerial views of the carrier. Smoke on the carrier to show them when they are into the wind. No smoke should be coming from the funnel, but it is; black smoke in sky. Signal out for landing. Second flag - smoke signal down the line. Officer makes first landing on carrier; second man has to go around again. Bat officer signals. American Grumman Martlet single winged airplane lands on aircraft carrier deck. Scrubbing deck in front of 'plane. Servicing a Martlet, mechanics at the engine. Swordfish lands. Wings folded, and down in lift to hangar. In the Officers' Mess, playing darts, cards, Mah Jong, reading by the fire, conjuring tricks, running around the deck for exercise. Officers' sing-song - they sing 'Daisy' to a banjo. Waiter serves drinks to the officers, while they play bridge. Officer volunteers to "get Mussolini", but his friends have been playing a joke on him. 'Plane looking for enemy ships; spots them; observer takes a bearing, radios information, and plots the course. Scramble on the ship to positions. Torpedoes in the room. 'Planes brought to deck. Pilots briefed. Swordfish on the lift. Torpedoes attached to the 'planes; chocks away! Flag waved, and they're off! Lots of take-offs from the carrier. Destroyers take up positions. Take-off from the carrier, point of view rear of 'plane. Swordfish in the air; flying off in formation.

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