Video 125

Look at Life in the 60s: Civil Aviation

Code: VE300
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Fly back in time with this nostalgic compilation of films from the 1960s.

The Rank Organisation produced a weekly series of short films for showing in Odeon cinemas up and down the country in the 1960s.

Undiscovered until now we have chosen six showing the aircraft industry as it was in the 1960s.

AIR HOSTESS (Heathrow 1960)

This quirky film follows an early trolley dolly from her wake up call, through her bus ride with "envious glances" at the bus stop to her arrival right outside the Queen's building at "London Airport". A flight briefing from an ex RAF type Captain then follows. We then see Stewardess Pat go to the stores to stock up on items such as "6 oxygen sets", tea towels, bovril and salad cream. We then follow the stewardesses' work on board a Vickers Viscount en route to North Africa.

Inside the control tower as ATC talk down an incoming Comet in fog. This recreation has its quirky flaws but nonetheless shows us inside the Heathrow control tower when radar was all valve-driven and sports jackets were the normal attire. We see inside the Comet and the flight deck of a simulator masquerading as the real thing. We then see the "Blind Landing Experimental Unit" trying out the "Ghost Pilot" on a Vickers Viking.

CITY OF THE AIR (Heathrow, Gatwick & Stansted 1963)
This is a fascinating look at many aspects of "London Airport" in the BOAC and BEA era. The commentary speaks of the "9 million pounds turnover per year at Heathrow". Many aspects are covered from the building of the M4 motorway to the flight catering centre to the BOAC medical centre. We then look at Gatwick with its "1million passenger per year" and an undeveloped Stansted.

FLYING TO WORK (Various 1964)
Private planes and helicopters with air taxi services "springing up all over the country". This film starts with Princess Alexandra boarding an Andover of the Queen's flight and Lord Robens boarding a Dove. Other features include Britain's first executive jet the Hawker Siddeley which cost "£225.000", the Beagle 206, Mr Ferranti's helicopter on its remote control launch pad and Battersea Heliport. There is even a "break for elevensees" at 5,000ft...

Britain's latest airliner the Super VC10 airliner is wheeled out in BOAC colours from the Vickers factory. There is a look back at the origins of the site from a 1960s perspective. High speed motor racing followed by aircraft manufacture starting with the Sopwith Camel in World War One. We then follow a VC10 from manufacturing to test flying.

THE BIG TAKE OFF (Farnborough, Filton, Bristol & Derby 1967)
A look at the aviation industry. In 1967 the export TARGET was 200 million pounds per annum! Prince Phillip arrives by helicopter to see Islanders, a Skyvan, AVRO 748, BAC 111 and a hanful of military aircraft such as the English Electric Lightning. We then visit the Rolls Royce factory at Derby to see various engines in production. Finally to Filton for the Olympus engine under test and the "140 seat" Concorde 002 in production.

Presented by Rob Curling from the Brooklands Museum Weybridge.

Produced by - Video 125

Running time - 60 Minutes

DVD only

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