View Full Version : Empire Air Routes - Books about.

28th Mar 2007, 08:26

I wonder if anyone can point me in the right direction? I'm looking for books written on the "Empire Air Routes". Essentially, anything about British airline operations within the period 1930's through to the the 1960's, particularly from a pilots perspective!

I've been trying a number of searches and I can't quite seem to find what I'm looking for. I'd be grateful if somebody could suggest anything. A title would be fantastic or a link to a website.

Any help or advice is much appreciated.


28th Mar 2007, 10:25
How about Pioneer Pilot by William Armstrong.
Published in 1952 by Blandford Press.
An autobiography that starts in 1917 through to Comets.
A great read.

Or try Winged Life by Betty Campbell Beaty

Airlife ISBN 1 84037 243 5


28th Mar 2007, 12:14
Alexander Frater wrote a book called "Beyond The Blue Horizon" in which he follows the route of the Imperial Airways flying boats from London to Sydney, he did this around the seventies but went into great detail about what it was like during the time of the flying boats. A search of ABEBooks .com came up with this:

28th Mar 2007, 12:50
Lots of books but most will be out of print now.

Britain's Imperial Air Routes 1918-1939 by Robin Higham.
Merchant Airmen published by HMSO covers the war years.
From Flying Boats to Flying Jets by Eric Woods(a BOAC navigator 1946-72)
Both Feet in the Air by Archie Jackson(a pilot with BOAC/BSAA/BOAC again)

29th Mar 2007, 11:16
Thanks folks!

Looks just like whay I'm looking for.

Clint, I have made an enquiry about Pioneer Pilot and hopefully I'll have it by the weekend.

Thanks all for your recommendations.


29th Mar 2007, 12:37
I have plenty at home but alas currently archived in the attic.

"Beyond The Blue Horizon" is without doubt one of the best books written about aviation ever, if you can get a secondhand copy (there seem quite a few about) do so.

"Propliner" magazine issue 21 (so about 1986) has an excellent extended article on an Empire run from Southampton to Australia which Steve Piercy (it was his last Propliner) had dug out from the Flight magazine archives, first published there in about 1938. It featured a little introduction by the original author who was still around.

There is a large format book "Adventurous Empires" published about 10 years ago.

Sutton Libraries in London published several well done books about Croydon Airport (which actually lies within their borough) and Imperial operations during the 1930s.

There were a range of aviation books produced in the 1930s, aimed at the youth market I should think, which often tend to give emphasis to the Empire boats. I have found several over time. These are more likely to turn up in more generalised secondhand bookshops.

Then there are these (http://www.imperial-airways.com/Publications_page.html)

And then you can download this (http://www.users.waitrose.com/~mbcass/) (right click on the Empire photo and Save Target As onto your PC - the instructions are not too clear but the resulting downloaded book is hopefully of interest.

tubby linton
31st Mar 2007, 10:52
"Famous Air Routes of the World"-Harold Champion published by Frederick Muller (1956)may be what you are after.Try Abebooks for good second-hand books

3rd Apr 2007, 09:38
Thanks for the excellent recommendations.

I appreciate it.

I'll let you know how I get on!

All the best.

Human Factor
3rd Apr 2007, 19:22
On a similar vein, try "Corsairville" by Graham Coster. ISBN 0-140-25348-3

A lot of history of Imperial Airways and the Empire boats but mainly about the loss and recovery of the Empire boat "Corsair" in the Belgian Congo in 1939.