Film: 8358

Aviation | 1920 | Silent | B/W


Imperial Airways at Croydon Airportmnear London 1920's

Croydon airport in 1924. Lovely shots of ground crew preparing passenger bi-planes for take off. Amusing air traffic control i.e. man stands on balcony and waves a red flag. Aircraft services to Europe twelve seater airliners where the pilot sits outside. Good interior shot of aircraft's basic interior with people sitting in rows next to windows, preceeded by the intertitle: "Comfort is another watchword of travel. It certainly is on the Imperial Airway, as these views of the cabin will show". Aviation.

Hotel Victoria to the airport by car. Car driver puts luggage on the roof of a car parked in front of the Hotel Victoria just off Trafalgar Square, Nelson's Column is visible in the background.
The Aerodrome at Croydon, bi-planes sit on the tarmac in the background, with passengers and workers walking freely about the tarmac. It looks quite windy, a line of passengers stretches from the small airport buildings to the bi-planes. A ground engineer examines the bi-plane, checking everything is intact, while other workers polish it up. The ground engineer inspects the engine behind a large propeller. Two ground engineers lok at both the engines. The engineer checks the wing flaps and its connections. The ground engineer signs off the airplane as being in working order on a clipboard. Daily Certificate of Safety of Aircraft, signed by the two ground engineers. The R.M.A. Prince Henry is wheeled out by the ground crew to the compass base, the ground crew fit plumb lines at the front and back of the airplane. On eman directs the other crew in turning the airplane to face north. One of the crew in the pilots cock-pit fixes the compass. A closeup of the compass and his hand placing corrector magnets in the compass, the hand taps the compass. The worker pulls his head out of the cockpit and seats himsle fin the pilot's seat to check the further eight points of the compass. The airplane turns on the compass table. A man goes to a cupboard onteh airfield and oens the doors, inside are meteorological instruments held there by the Meteorological office. The man holds a clipboard and carefully writes down the readings from the machines. Taing the direction of the wind with a balloon, they let the balloon go from the top of a tripod, it whips away in the wind. The worker uses a theodolite to measure the wind and direction. Another worker records it on a chart, hunched over a low table, most of the workers have suits with ties and hats on. A huge black board with a mpa of the English Channel London- Continental Airoutes, Latest Weather reports, one of the workers goes to the mpa and puts up a smal circle beside a French town. Two pilots in their kit lok up at the weather board and then look up at the sky. Cars pull into the aerodrome parking lot, suitcases still on top of the car, the area is crowded, with cars and other passengers. H.M Customs Douane signage, porters carry parcels and boxes to two carts and load them up , two of them continue on with the carts, the passengers follow. The passengers get on the plane and the baggage is loaded as well. A motorcycle with a large side car drives into the aerodrome. The soori sonc again opened and a man puts in a black bag of mail. The pilot waits til one of the ground crew runs up and hands him something, then he hauls himself up into the cockpit. Away the airplane taxis, you can see right through the windows,it kicks up a lot of dust. A man on the control tower waves a flag. The airplane takes off. The interior of the bi-plane, rather dark, everyone looks very well to do. The view of the ground, the runway and the aerodrome buildings below. The airplane flying. The passengers again, there is a young girl in a white tam who looks like she is having a blast. Flying over Surrey. Map of England and france with flight path, and compared times between air and rail/sea. And again to Brussels and Cologne. Amsterdam, Hanover and Berlin. Inside the control tower at Croydon, a man sits over a map with a telephone he answers it and plots the point of the plane. The wireless operator talks to the pilot. The pilot talks to the wireless operator. The Mpa with the airplane's position plotted. The pilot again talks into his microphone. The sirection finding station at Croydon , with its tall aerial beside a tiny hut. The wireless operators using the radio waves to give the pilot his position, lots of dials and turning compass-like things. Using triangulation ot find the pilot and relaying his positions back to him. A Map of the light houses that light the way at night or in fog. The cone ligh tis turned on and flashes, the mist penetrating light is turned on and rotates around, a rocket is fired to guide the pilot in. The airplane lands and the ground crew run out to meet it. The stairs are rolled up to let the passengers out and they file out as the porters unload the baggage

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