The Spanish Flu 1919-20 [TALK]

Pam Preedy to give a talk about the 1919/20 Spanish Flu Pandemic Learn about the terrible epidemic that swept the world in this fascinating talk by Pam Preedy. This talk traces the first outbreaks of influenza in America and the spread of this deadly wave eastwards across Europe to India and beyond. It looks at the symptoms, precautions, treatment and search for a vaccination, followed by case studies of soldiers who died of the disease. Tuesday 7th December 4:30pm – 5:30pm Bromley Central Library To book your free place call the…

Aircraft Project – WEEK 9

Flyingboats Significant progress was made in naval flying in World War I. Three distinct categories of combat aircraft emerged: long-range overwater reconnaissance and antisubmarine aircraft operating from shore bases, shorter-range floatplane (so called because instead of wheeled undercarriages they floats to allow water landings) reconnaissance and fighter aircraft, and ship-borne aircraft. Long-range flying boats (so called because their fuselages were shaped like the hull of a boat) were used extensively by the British. These pioneered the technique of searching for submarines with methodical, mathematically developed search patterns. The French utilised…

Aircraft Project – WEEK 8

SELECTION OF ITALIAN AIRCRAFT Italy was at war in February 1915, swapping side of the entente almost at the last minute after some territorial promises. Previously due to its position just south of the Central powers, it was likely to fall in this side. Italy fought most of the war against Austria-Hungary on its northern, Alpine frontier, a harsh mountain war, but also the hilly north-east and the Venetian region, as well as the Adriatic. Naval aviation played an important part in these operations. Industrial capacities of Italy at that…

Aircraft Project – Week 7

Selection of British Aircraft The Royal Flying Corps The RFC was the direct ancestor of the RAF. The term “flying corp” reflected the use that was made of aviation this moment of pioneers, a simple emanation of the army, devoted to observation. Unlike France, Britain had no active squadrons or aeronautical industry in 1914. Britain’s aircraft came, like most countries, from French productions. The British cockade was itself directly inspired by the French cockade, following misunderstandings and friendly shots due to the symbol of St. George cross drawn from the…

Aircraft Project – Week 6

Selection of WW1 Heavy Bombers from all Nations World War I Heavy Bombers The first heavy bomber was designed as an airliner. The Russian aircraft designer, Igor Sikorsky designed the Sikorsky Ilya Muromets to fly between his birthplace 9poland) and his new home (St Petersburg). It did so briefly until August 1914, when the Russo-Balt wagon factory converted to a bomber version, with British Sunbeam Crusader V8 engines. By December 1914 a squadron of 10 was bombing German positions on the Eastern Front and by summer 1916 there were twenty.…

Aircraft Project – Week 5

Selection of WW1 German Aircraft The Imperial German Air Service (Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte) grew out of the need to put an end to frequent incursions by French observers during the first weeks of the war. The initial deployment of German fighter aircraft occurred within the Observer Corps, which were being equipped with one or two of the new Fokker Eindecker fighter aircraft for each The buildup of the Eindecker fighter force rapidly progressed with regular lMG 08 “Spandau”-armed production examples of the Fokker E.I. The first step towards specialist single seater…

Aircraft Project – Week 4

Selection of WW1 French aircraft At the start of the First World War, France led the world in an aircraft design. In 1914 it had some 132 operational machines and 21 escadrilles. Initially the Aéronautique Militaire (French Airforce) concentrated on reconnaissance with aircraft like the Blériot XI. On 8 October, it was expanded to a massive expansion to 65 escadrilles. Furthermore, it was proposed that four types of aircraft could be used for four different tasks: Morane-Saulnier Ls would be used as scouts, Voisin IIIs as bombers, Farman MF.11s as…

Aircraft Project – Week 3

BIGGIN HILL – HOME DEFENCE BASE /Prototype Testing; December 1917 Onwards Earlier in WW1 (1915/16) Britain became under attack from Zeppelin Airship bombers. These attacks were met by the Royal Flying Corp pilots flying machines of the day. After shooting down a number of these slow moving raiders, the Germans ceased these raids. However, by 1917, the Germans were equipped with well armed, faster heavy bomber aircraft. England was again under attack by a more serious adversity. This required setting up a new Home Defence force, located to protect vulnerable…

Aircraft Project – Week 2

WW1 Aircraft Associated with Biggin Hill I live in Bromley and as a boy had an interest in planes, and often cycled to the Biggin Hill aerodrome to watch the RAF jets in action, and to attend Battle of Britain and other flying display days. At the aerodrome there is a Memorial Chapel which commutates all the 454 pilots and air crews who were killed in WW2 flying from the Biggin Hill sector. In 2016 this lost its funding support from the RAF/MOD and was taken over by Bromley Council.…

Aircraft Project – Week 1

MODEL MAKING – ALL AIRCRAFT TYPES THAT FLEW IN WORLD WAR 1 John Preedy About 3 and a half years ago I took on the challenge of making all the aircraft types that flew in WW1 to the scale of 1/72. These cover all those of the Countries of the Allies and the Central Powers. At the time of starting I though the total amounted to some 180 models. Since that time I have found many more and my current estimate of the full number is more than 500. Pre…