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.

Polikarpov I-16

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

Boeing Model 307 Stratoliner

The Boeing 307 Stratoliner was the world's first airliner to…

Boeing 247

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

Lockheed Vega

The stylish Lockheed Vega was a charismatic aircraft that scored…

Supermarine S.6B

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

Short Empire Flying Boat

Air travel was never more romantic than in the era of the large…

Dornier Do X

When the mighty 12-engine Dornier Do X flying boat made its…

Caproni Ca.60 Transaero

With his Ca.60 Transaero, Italian designer and manufacturer…

Douglas DC-3

The most famous piston-engined airliner of all time, the DC-3…