Independent Publishers Group Logo

Sign up today...
for featured titles, special offers, bestsellers, and more, in your inbox!

Subscribe to receive special offers, monthly books suggestions, seasonal selections, and more!

Flying Boats of the Empire
Flying Boats of the Empire

Flying Boats of the Empire

The Rise and Fall of the Ships of the Sky


272 Pages, 6 x 9.5

Cloth, $59.95 (US $59.95) (CA $80.95)

Publication Date: April 2011

ISBN 9780709087595

Rights: US & CA

Robert Hale (Apr 2011)

Sorry, this item is temporarily out of stock


This is a fascinating account of the age of Empire flying boats, whose story began in July 1936 with a reassuringly trouble-free test flight on Kent’s River Medway. Within ten years, however, this last word in luxury was to become redundant, spurned by the post-war age. The story is a dramatic and human one. It tells of slow, meandering flights across the Empire, swooping down on sun-warmed stretches of water for luncheon and tea. But it also describes misadventure and disaster, with flying boats crashing with unnerving regularity. The characters involved in the Empire’s story demonstrate its breadth, they include: Winston Churchill; Terence Rattigan (the playwright); Sir John Reith (who chaired both the BBC and Imperial Airways); Don Bennett (the wartime Pathfinder); and the doomed Duke of Kent. The Empire’s magnificent military sibling, the Sunderland, is also featured and the book illuminates some less well known areas of the war, for example, the Norwegian campaign of 1940 and Australia’s "Pearl Harbor." Extensively researched—drawing on personal letters and diaries, government papers, contemporary newspapers, and archive material from Imperial Airways and its successors—this book reveals all about the Empire flying boat and the people who designed, flew, and traveled in them.

Author Biography

Richard Knott is a former actor and educationalist who now researches and writes on twentieth-century history. He has previously written on subjects as varied as cricket, poetry, and the teaching of English.