This is a promotional film possibly entitled 'Airways of Empire', and dates from 1928 or 1929. It may have been produced to promote the introduction of the Silver Wing luxury service by Imperial Airways between London (Croydon) and Paris. The footage covers the journey from Coach Terminal in London, via the newly-furbished Croydon Airport, to Paris. Details are shown of the flight in an Armstrong Whitworth Argosy airliner, including take-off and in-flight procedures.
The Argosy was a British 3-engine biplane airliner, built by Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft, and operated by Imperial Airways from 1926 to 1935. The City of Glasgow (G-EBLF) shown in the footage was written off in June 1931 while making a forced landing at Aswan in Africa, and was broken up in 1934.
00.18 to 02.00 - In Croydon airport. Imperial Airways passenger plane reg G-EBLF named City of Glasgow, an Armstrong Whitworth Argosy Mk ll is prepared for flight to Paris by ground engineers who check the 3 engines, while other ground crew check various parts of the aircraft's fuselage. A safety official in a hat and a white coat holding a check board then completes and issues the Airworthiness Certificate. On fuselage is Imperial Airways, and the name City of Glasgow is painted just below the cockpit. The aircraft then is turned by ground crew and starts the taxing for its take off.
02.00 to 02.43 - Weather control room at airport where the weather reports are being prepared by staff with large information boards on wall.
02.43 to 04.57 - Inter Title: Throughout the flight the pilot keeps in touch with the control tower at Croydon. The pilot dressed in heavy all weather flying kit and helmet in his open air cockpit is shown speaking to the control tower at Croydon before take off. The modern control tower block at the airport from the landing apron showing the radio antennae. Sequence showing how controllers monitor the wireless traffic with the pilot and plot the plane's position on map of the English Channel. This is done by sole individual in suit sitting in an office environment using telephones and large plotting maps.
05.11 to 05.28 - Inter Title: The Big Airliners are so steady that airsickness is not nearly so prevalent as seasickness. Inside fuselage of crowded airliner with Air Stewart at the far end of the aircraft serving drinks to the passengers. The shot is taken looking down the cramped gangway of the airplane and the passengers are shown very close up to the camera.
05.48 to 06.11 - The airport ground staff load passengers' baggage directly into the aircraft baggage compartment and then the door to this is closed by them.
06.11 to 06.38 - Inter Title: The journey from Airways House to Croydon is included in the fare. Leaving Airways House. Street Scene in Central London and adjacent to Bank of England. Prospective passengers mill around after getting out of taxis and wait to board a coach in front of building on which a neo-sign reads Fly.
06.38 to 07.42 - Front of the Aerodrome buildings at Croydon and of the Aerodrome Hotel. Arrival of the Airport coach from London at the Aerodrome building and the passengers disembark.
07.54 to 08.11 - Imperial Airways airliner G-EBLF lands at Croydon and with its engines still running taxis towards the camera on the departure apron.
08.13 to 08.31 - Inter Title: Landing at Croydon. Final moments of the flight just before the aircraft lands showing the airfield perimeter and runway.
08.31 to 08.40 - Inter Title: A Foreign Rival. German airliner with engines running standing on the airfield while its few passengers disembark.
08.46 to 11.05 - Unloading by team of porters of the passengers' luggage from baggage coach so that it can be passed across down a chain for loading into the aircraft. Boarding by passengers of the aircraft by climbing a small foot ladder at the door of the plane. Running up the aircraft's engines. Passengers (most of whom are women) waive with white handkerchiefs from the windows in the fuselage. Ground crew remove the brake chocks and Argosy airliner registration G-AAC turns and taxis away in preparation for take off.
10.25 to 10.34 - Balcony of control tower. Member of air control staff signals with Aldis signal lamp to unseen waiting aircraft giving the pilot permission to take off.
10.34 to 11.02 - Front of control tower with large clocks and signal balcony. Argosy taking off and in flight above aerodrome.
11.14 to 11.39 - View of airport buildings at Croydon and the surrounding housing estates.
11.39 to 12.54 - Countryside and villages of Kent. Fly over of Knowle Park at Sevenoaks and Leeds Castle at Maidstone.
12.54 to 13.56 - Imperial Airways steward in white jacket, bow tie and black cap makes his way down the aisle towards the camera with a tray of drinks, then pours the contents of a bottle of beer into a glass.
14.04 to 14.13 - Steam hauled passenger train running along straight stretch railway track in the open countryside with white smoke coming from the locomotive.
14.17 to 14.22 - Inter Title: Above the clouds. Argosy airliner in level flight.
15.02 to 15.09 - Cockpit of the Argosy airliner City of Glasgow shot while aircraft is on the ground and only showing the nose of the fuselage and the pilot and the co-pilot in the cockpit. The name City of Glasgow is clearly painted on the fuselage.
15.35 to 15.54 - Inter Title: Lympne Aerodrome, near Folkestone. The airfield and aerodrome buildings. The name Lympne is painted on the ground with a large white circle.
16.15 to 16.45 - Inter Title: And so the airliner lands in France after a safe and comfortable voyage of about two and a quarter hours. Passengers disembark singly from passenger door of an Argosy airline while a porter attends to parcels. Clear shot of the fuselage of the aircraft looking from the tail to towards the nose. Passengers are mixed, fashionable ladies, business men and possibly a British Diplomat shown wearing a hat and carrying an umbrella while clutching an official looking dispatch box.