The Men & Machines of the Royal Air Force
Coronation Review at Odiham 15 July 1953
A snapshot of a single day in the history of the RAF, at a time when Britain still had imperial commitments across the globe and an airforce to be reckoned with. Here are the last of the piston-engine bombers still in service and the first of the jet fighters, many wearing the brilliant colours of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, gathered together at Odiham for inspection by the new Queen Elizabeth II. 641 aircraft took part in the Flypast, another 318 participated in the static display. Almost every single aircraft and the pilot has been identified. Diagrams show the position of individual aircraft within the formations, in the order in which they flew over Odiham.
96 pages, softback
105 b/w photos, 16 pages of colour profiles
The book's focus is 2 hours at RAF Odeham in 1952 but it covers the months of planning, rehersals, staging points, inbound and outbound routings, timing and logistics of moving over a thousand aircraft through a narrow corridor in less than an hour. Diagrams show where each aircraft was located in the static display, fly-past formations are sketched with each aircraft identified and, where known, the name of the pilot. The text is backed-up with literally hundreds of pictures, some obviously official but most seem to have been taken by people at the Review. The only criticism I have is that there were aircraft in the review from air forces other than the Royal Air Force and this doesn't come out in the title, although the RAF certainly had the predominant part. Very highly recommended if only as a reference on researching.
About the Author
Eric Bucklow was born in Harrow, Middlesex in 1934. He studied Aeronautical Engineering at Queens Mary College, University of London where he then went onto receive Air Squadron training with the Chipmunk.
He then joined the RAF for a six year career followed by tweny four years as a test pilot with Vickers (later BAC) at Wisley. He now flies for BAE Systems as a contract pilot.
Coronation Wings recaps a single day in the history of the RAF: the gathering of aircraft at Odiham for inspection by Queen Elizabeth II. Bucklow identifies almost every plane and pilot that took part in the highly complex flypast or supported the ceremony in a static display. Photographs, color drawings, diagrams, and an appendix detail the RAF's second royal review.