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The Royal Air Force’s annual Hendon Air Pageants were held during the
inter-war years at the now defunct airfield where today’s RAF Museum is
situated. These airshows were the forerunner of the post-war Farnborough
Air Shows and regularly attracted crowds of half a million with over
250 aircraft in the sky. The first RAF ‘Pageant’ was held in 1920. In
1925 it became known as the ‘Royal Air Force Display’ before, in 1938,
being known briefly as the ‘Empire Air Day’.John Blake – the ‘king’
of the Farnborough Air Show commentators narrates us through this
compilation of newsreel reports of the Hendon air shows – reports which
include aircraft such as the Bristol Fighter, Sop with Camel, Handley
Page 0400 bomber, Snipes, DH-4, Avro 504, the bat-like Pterodactyl, the
rare Fairey Fawn, the Armstrong-Whitworth Argosy, Vickers Vimy,
Southampton 3, the Inflexible, Bristol Bulldogs, Vickers Virginia, the
R-101 giant airship, Hawker Harts, Avro Tutor, DH Tiger Moth, Fairey
Battles and many more.All the surviving promotional trailers for
the shows and retrospective news reports on each year’s show are
included in this definitive chronology with fantastic air-to-air shots
from the newsreel cameramen. Every year a great dramatic
set-piece at the end of each air show was featured; this could be a huge
ship, a fortress, a village or a harbour – targets that were bombed to
smithereens by the R.A.F. to the delight of the crowds!Winco
Dummy Sandbag regularly leapt out of a barrage balloon just before it
disintegrated in a huge ball of fire and, every year, the event was
attended by members of the Royal Family including King George V, Queen
Mary, Prince Edward and King George VI. There were also quite a few
spectacular crashes – including an Avro Tutor right in front of the
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