|Conquest of the Air|
|Produced by||Alexander Korda|
|Narrated by||Charles Frend|
|Cinematography|| Wilkie Cooper |
|Edited by|| Peter Bezencenet |
Richard Q. McNaughton
|Music by||Arthur Bliss|
Alexander Korda Productions
|Distributed by||London Films (UK)|
|December 1936 (UK)|
Conquest of the Air is a 1936 documentary film or docudrama on the history of aviation up to that time. The film features historical footage, and dramatic re-creations, of the developments of commercial and military aviation; including the early stages of technology developments in design, propulsion, and air navigation aids. The film was a London Films production, commissioned by the British Air Ministry.
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The film was initially commissioned by Alexander Korda prior to the advent of World War II, and the Air Ministry saw the value in promoting Britain's contribution and leadership in aviation during this period. Some notable footage is featured of the early phases of automated flight, navigational equipment, and the transitions between civil and military developments, including heavy bombers; fast fighter aircraft; and the advent of naval aviation (aircraft carrier), plus the initial experiments with vertical rotary flight (helicopters).
An updated version was released in 1940 and released in the United States on 20 May 1940.
Imperial Airways was the early British commercial long-range airline, operating from 1924 to 1939 and principally serving the British Empire routes to South Africa, India, Australia and the Far East, including Malaya and Hong Kong. Passengers were typically businessmen or colonial administrators, most flights carried about 20 passengers or less. Accidents were frequent: in the first six years, 32 people died in seven incidents. Imperial Airways never achieved the levels of technological innovation of its competitors and was merged into the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) in 1939. BOAC in turn merged with the British European Airways (BEA) in 1974 to form British Airways.
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