ITEM: front page of the 4 June 1938 issue of The Illustrated London News. $35
Ref: JF Ptak Science Books Post 1307
I wonder who invented walking?
It was certainly one of the first inventions made by our deepest, oldest human cousins, walking,. And it was probably invented in Africa.
This thought comes to mind looking at this great photo of the Empire Air Day, being celebrated in England in May 1938. All of these folks walking around this enormous dirigible hangar (a form of flight that had left the RAF field of interest just a few years before, mostly forever) looking at the best of what was in the air. The crowd actually looks a little thin to me--were people already getting a little used to having such magnificent things flying overhead, even just 30 years or so into the history of heavier-than-air flight? It makes me wonder what will be remembered of the earliest days of flying 10,000 years from now. The answer to that question may be as meaningless as the question I just asked above.
It is interesting to note the barrage balloons (three of which are shown here). The Nazis had only recently admitted that they had an air force, and of course by the middle of 1938 it was a considerable thing. Hitler had shown his fangs of course and there was war in the air. Wr doesn't smell like a desert bloom. But the Balloons were there, as were the rest of the aircraft, to show the hearts and minds at home that the RAF was a strong arm of the military establishment, and that the balloons were ready to be sent aloft to help protect London (at least) from the possibility of German/Nazi attack.
Here are some of the aircraft that were supposed to have been displayed: Armstrong Whitworth Whitley; Armsrong Whitworth Ensign -transport; Bristol Blenheim - medium bomber; De Havilland Albatross; Fairey Battle - medium bombe; Gloster Gladiator - torpedo bomber; Handley Page Harrow - bomber; Hawker Hurricane -; Shorts Empire Flying Boat; Vickers Wellesley - bomber; Vickers Wellesley - bomber; Vickers Supermarine Spitfire - fighter Westland Lysander.