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Royal Air Force

Aviation








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On Spartan Wings

Rarely has an air force gone into combat as poorly prepared and outgunned as the Royal Hellenic Air Force had to when Mussolini’s Italy dragged Greece into war on 28 October 1940. Without warning, as Italian forces poured over the frontier from Albania, the RHAF’s paltry effective lineup of 128 battleworthy aircraft, most of them obsolete, were… Read more...

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Lifeline in Helmand: RAF Front-Line Air Supply in Afghanistan

Lifeline in Helmand tells the story of the Royal Air Force tactical transport force operating in one of the most dangerous regions in the Afghanistan campaign – Helmand province. The Chinook helicopters of 1310 Flight fly heavy-lift and trooping missions to remote Forward Operating Bases and in direct support of Deliberate Ground Operations. They… Read more...

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Target Leipzig

Seventy-nine heavy bombers failed to return from the catastrophic raid on the industrial city of Leipzig on the night of 19/29 February 1944. Some 420 aircrew were killed and a further 131 became prisoners of war. It was at that time by far the RAF's most costly raid of World War II. The town was attacked in an attempt to destroy the Messerschmitt… Read more...

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RAF's Centenary Flypast

On 10 July 2018, exactly 100 years and 100 days after the formation of the world’s first independent air force, 103 aircraft of twenty-four types from twenty-five squadrons flew over London in the largest formation of military aircraft seen over the capital of the UK in nearly thirty years. Involving over 250 aircrew and operating out of fourteen… Read more...

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RAF at the Crossroads

The events of 1942 marked a pivotal year in the history of British air power. For more than two decades the theory that long-range bombing could win wars had dominated British defence policy. The vast majority of warplanes ordered for the RAF were designed either to bomb enemy cities or stop the enemy from bombing British cites. Conventional armies… Read more...

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Empty Sky

One moment the sky would be full of aircraft wheeling and positioning for the best shot at the enemy; a sky full of danger and menace. The next instant there would just be a clear blue empty sky with the sun shining down on a calm and beautiful landscape. Such was the phenomenon experienced by pilots who fought in the key battles of France and Britain… Read more...

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Enemy Coast Ahead

Prior to World War Two, Wing Commander Guy Gibson joined the Royal Air Force. In 1944, he wrote down his experience of serving in the RAF. Aged just 25, Gibson had completed two full tours, each of 30 operations, with Bomber Command, and had led the now-famous Dam Busters raid against the dams of the Ruhr Valley in May 1943. He died aged 26 in 1944,… Read more...

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RAF College, Cranwell: A Centenary Celebration

We Seek the Highest has been the motto of the thousands of Officer Cadets who, over ten decades, have passed through the rigorous training regime at the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell, Lincolnshire. The words embody the College ethos: to strive to reach the tough standards demanded by the RAF, in the air and on the ground. This book tells the 100-year… Read more...

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Lifeline in Helmand: RAF Front-Line Air Supply in Afghanistan

Lifeline in Helmand tells the story of the Royal Air Force tactical transport force operating in one of the most dangerous regions in the Afghanistan campaign – Helmand province. The Chinook helicopters of 1310 Flight fly heavy-lift and trooping missions to remote Forward Operating Bases and in direct support of Deliberate Ground Operations. They… Read more...