Flying has changed enormously over the last century with many of aviation’s innovations – both successful and disastrous – being caught on camera. Here are 18 black and white videos that captured flying history

1) “There was a decidedly motley collection of planes on view at Wycombe Air Park where the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators held a garden party”

2) “Jets still seem to be in the fashion though rumour has it that they’ve a few new revolutionary tricks up their sleeve”

3) “Here’s an aircraft that’s almost disaster-proof. The new American transport Pantobase which can take off and land pretty well anywhere”

4) “As he flies upside down his tail hits the ground and snaps off. Only miraculous handling brings him right side up again”

5) “This is a special demonstration of an entirely new type of light plane. Half plane and half motorcar. When you’re tired of being up in the air you can take the wings off”

6) “A plane that can take off from your back garden. In Maryland inventor Willard Custer displays the model of his revolutionary channel-wing plane”

7) “This plane will literally never make any appreciable noise. Figuratively speaking, however, it’s already a big noise in aeronautical circles”

8) “This machine you see here, the new De Havilland Fox Moth fitted with a Gypsy Major engine, is being handed over to the Prince of Wales on Monday”

9) “One of its big assets: its ability to land and take off in an amazingly short distance which enables it to use very small airfields”

10) “There he is getting out of the cabin, leaving the plane completely under automatic control”

11) “Monsieur Salais and his wife built this plane and now he’s all set for England”

12) “New plane breaks speed record in first US flight”

13) “Oo la la! He has, as the English say, ‘been and gone and done it!’”

14) “The Harrier combines a series of major advances in performance and load carrying ability over the earlier Kestrel aircraft”

15) “What a joy to be as free as a bird and away from the nose-to-tail crawl on the road”

16) “Meet 21-year-old ex-RAF man Arthur Ord-Hume. Four years ago he bought a plane for £25 and he’s been rebuilding it in the front garden of his home at Pinner, Middlesex”

17) “Uncle Sam’s new flying battleship, the biggest ever built, is rolled out for a final ground check-up”

18) “The training plane resembles a high-tailed arrow with straight wings. It is designed to provide all the versatility needed to teach jet skills to future fighter and bomber pilots”


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