Promotional film produced by Shell, featuring the evolution of air travel in the UK pre and post war as British engine and aircraft design improved.
Reel 1: Passengers crossing aircraft pan to board BOAC flight. History of early flight. Bleriot flight across Channel and BOAC Hermes flight to holiday destinations. Early passenger flights.
Reel 2: Croydon Airport scene – Imperial Airways Handley Page H.P.45's "Heracles" G-AXXC and "Horatio" G-AXXD taxiing out and taking off. Air to air shots of G-AXXE "Hengist" and shot of Handley Page H.P.42 G-AAUC "Horsa" in N Africa and taking off. Film moves forward to BOAC HP Hermes G-ALDW "Helios" arriving in Africa. Commercial Flying Boat operation described. G-ADUX landing. Supermarine Schneider Trophy Seaplanes. Move into production of combat aircraft by British aircraft industry during the Second World War. Air combat footage. Arrival of the new threat of V1 flying bombs. At the end of war UK had a shortage of transport aircraft and the development of jet airliner aircraft. Comet and Viscount airliners and development of gas turbine aircraft.
Reel 3: London to Johannesburg in a day and a half. Passengers boarding Hermes. Piston engined aircraft still have role in modern aircraft. Bristol Brabazon G-AGPW in flight and landing. Gas Turbine engines in development. The advent of air refuelling. As the barriers of distance are overcome the new barrier of sound heralds new aircraft designs.