War Planes Of World War II

Release Date: 24 September 2012 | Certificate: Exempt
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War Planes - These programmes focus on four types of aircraft that were instrumental in Britain’s victory in the air, on land and at sea in WWII: the Wellington Bomber, the Hawker Hurricane, the Bristol Blenheim, and the Flying Boats. All of these aircraft and the crews that serviced and flew them served the war effort superbly and secured a revered place in aviation history.

The Vickers Wellington

When it entered service in 1938, the twin-engined Vickers Wellington began an operational career that spanned the whole of the Second World War. Rugged and reliable, it was operated by Bomber Command, Coastal Command and Transport Command, possessing a level of versatility second to none, serving in almost every theatre of War. By the autumn of 1945 nearly 11,500 had been built. As the last one rolled off the Vickers’ production lines, the “Wimpy” as it was affectionately known, had secured its place in history, as one of the truly great aircraft of the Second World War.

The Hawker Hurricane

The Hawker Hurricane was the first fighter monoplane to join the Royal Air Force and the fi rst combat aircraft adopted by that arm capable of exceeding 300 mph in level flight. The Hurricane shouldered the lion’s share of Britain’s defence during the Battle of Britain. This programme portrays the history of this legendary aircraft which was to form an immortal partnership during the infamous battle. While the Spitfire was an entirely new concept based on specialized experience, the Hurricane was the logical outcome of a long line of fighting aircraft.

The Bristol Blenheim

The Bristol Blenheim was originally built as a civilian plane, sponsored by the Daily Mail who wanted something to get their reporters on scene first. When it was found to out-perform the existing fighters, it was presented to the nation and served in roles including fighter, bomber and reconnaissance among others. Often called ‘The Forgotten Bomber’ its achievements, including as a night fighter in the Battle of Britain, have been overlooked in favour of the more glamorous Spitfire and Hurricane day fighters.

The Flying Boats

The tasks faced by Coastal Command during WWII were gigantic. These ranged from submarine hunting to convoy protection, attacks on enemy shipping and U-boat pens, to reconnaissance, mine laying, and to air-sea rescue. The maritime air war called for men of unusual skills and rare patience, often spending 20 hours or more on a mission. During the war Coastal Command and its squadrons of flying boats flew over 240,000operations, sunk 212 U-boats and destroyed 478,000 tons of shipping.

Release Date: 24 September 2012
Certificate: E - Exempt from Certification

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Catalogue No: 86508