The British Overseas Airways Corporation, A History

This is a delightful and well-research history of BAOC, one of the great pioneering national flag carriers. The British Empire needed a fast reliable method transport provided by Imperial Airways that was followed by BAOC as a wartime airline that transitioned into peacetime, introduced the first jet airliner and the first supersonic airliner in a tradition followed on by British Airways. – Much Recommended


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NAME: The British Overseas Airways Corporation, A History
FILE: R2788
AUTHOR: Graham M Simons
PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES: 320
PRICE: £30.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: BAOC, Imperial Airways, WWII, World War Two, World War 2, 
Second World War, post war aviation, national flag carriers, Comet, Britannia, 
Lancastrian, Albatross, Whitley, Mosquito, C-47, Commando, Empire Flying 
Boats, Boeing flying boat, Strato Cruiser, Constellation, Boeing 707, VC10

ISBN: 1-47388-357-1

IMAGE: B2788.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y8v6utbe
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION:  This is a delightful and well-research history of BAOC, one 
of the great pioneering national flag carriers.  The British Empire needed a
 fast reliable method transport provided by Imperial Airways that was followed 
by BAOC as a wartime airline that transitioned into peacetime, introduced the
 first jet airliner and the first supersonic airliner in a tradition followed on by 
British Airways. - Much Recommended

The author has provided a colourful, entertaining, absorbing and well-researched history of BAOC that 
is highly illustrated with a fascinating selection of images , many of which are rare and will be seen for 
the first time in a modern review of a national flag carrier.

Imperial Airways was one of the great pioneers of civil aviation and particularly of long distance 
passenger transport. It continued to operate long range flying boats as it began to introduce long range 
land planes with a network of seaplane bases and airfields throughout the Empire and countries between. 
It showed the way in these areas and opened up the Empire in a manner not previously possible with 
regular flights around the world.

BAOC was a child of WWII, started in 1940. It took over from Imperial Airways and it provided a 
unique service during the global war. This history shows some of the little known aircraft types and 
the use of military aircraft. Obsolescent bombers were converted for use, some achieving greater 
success than others, there was also the extensive use of the latest military transport aircraft. One 
remarkable aircraft was the first civilianized high speed Mosquito which provided the fastest transport 
of high value cargoes.

At the end of WWII, BOAC had a large fleet that was made up of many very different aircraft, 
including British and US flying boats. The future for air travel looked exciting, but Britain was nearly 
bankrupt from the cost of the war and in the grip of its second National Socialist Government that 
wanted to nationalize anything that moved and anything that did not. BAOC really needed updated 
airfields that were designed for civil use and new generations of aircraft that were designed from 
scratch as civil passenger and freight machines. The US aviation industry was starting to transition 
back to civil aircraft production but British aviation industry was in a state of confusion, further 
hindered by politicians interfering without the knowledge to benefit the industry. However, work 
was forging ahead on the development of the Comet as the world's first jet passenger plane and the 
first semi-civilian US types were coming into service. Aircraft like the Boeing Strato Cruiser may 
have made extensive use of proven components from the B-29 Super Fortress, but it had a new figure 
eight fuselage designed and built for luxury pressurized passenger accommodation, rather different 
from the Avro Lancastrian that was noticeably a lightly converted Lancaster bomber.

The Comet inevitably suffered from its revolutionary design and defects in the design of the 
pressurized hull caused fatal crashes, taking much longer than it should to correct. By the time the 
Comet was fit to re-enter the passenger market, the Boeing 707 was in production and initial service, 
providing more space, and a number of other benefits, from not being first in its field. BAOC quickly 
adopted the Boeing and began a long term close affinity to Boeing as a favoured supplier at the 
expense of the British aviation industry. That did not however stop it from also buying some 
innovative British designs such as the VC10 and the Britannia.

During this process, BAOC was the long range national flag carrier with BEA providing short range 
services. It became clear that the two airlines needed to be merged to take advantage of new ranges 
of aircraft types and reduce operating costs, while preparing to introduce the first supersonic transport 
into service. Concorde was to prove as revolutionary as the Comet had been on  its introduction but it 
also suffered the same challenges of being the first of its type and using the most advanced components 
with operation beyond any parameter previously experienced in airline service or even in military 
service. The comments of the crew of a US SR-71 Blackbird were interesting. As they overflew Cuba, 
a BAOC Concorde was preparing to land at Miami airport and the Blackbird crew were in awe at the
 thought that Concorde was operating at the sort of altitude and speed that Blackbird was capable of but 
its crew of two had to wear spacesuits to do that while in Concorde passengers in their shirt sleeves 
were enjoying a final glass of champaign before the Concorde began descending on its landing path.

The author has captured the essence of BAOC and presented it in a highly readable form to grip the 
readers' attention.