Boosted to unsustainably high levels levelsWorld War I, aeroplane production was drastically curtailed after the Armistice. Air forces were reduced to a minimum and orders were cancelled. Civil aircraft manufacturers found little demand for new products; many of the nascent airlines employed converted bombers, while private owners purchased surplus military trainers for a few pounds. However, matters gradually improved, and the 1920s and 30s blossomed into a “Golden Age” of aviation. In the wake of pioneering long-distance and survey
flights, the larger airlines began casting their networks across and between continents. Meanwhile, record-breaking speed, duration. altitude, and distance flights steadily advanced aviation technology. The large flying boat, with its aura of glamour and romantic adventunre, reached its zenith in the 1930s. Also during that decade. fabric-covered biplanes began making way for sleek, allmetal monoplanes with enclosed crew and passenger accommodation, retractable undercarriages, autopilots, and devices to improve slow-speed handling and safety.

Fokker F.VII/3m

In the I920s Dutch planemaker Anthony Fokker, who had built…

Junkers G 38

Throughout his career German designer Hugo Junkers toyed with…

Boeing 247

First flown in February 1933, the Boeing 247 has sometimes been…

Supermarine S.6B

In the 1920s mihI early 1930s seaplane racers were the fastest…

Handley Page H.P.42

If any aeroplane Could be described as a stately galleon of…

Macchi MC.72

Designed by Mario Castoldi, the MC.72 was the fastest piston-driven…

Polikarpov I-16

The Soviet Union's I-16 Ishak ("Little Donkey") was the world's…