The royal flights of the Royal Air Force have a unique place in the history of aviation.
Established in 1936 during the reign of King Edward VIII, The King’s Flight was charged with the duty of transporting members of the Royal Family by air on short-haul and long-haul flights. Some members of the Royal family were also taught to fly.
Renamed The Queen’s Flight when HRH Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952, this unique unit of the RAF continued with its duties until its disbandment in 1995.
During this time, a wide variety of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters were called into service as aviation technology progressed and many thousands of miles were flown to destinations within the United Kingdom and further afield, eventually spanning the globe.
Service with the royal flights was considered a great honour and is consequently remembered with pride and affection by all those who spent time within its ranks. In this book, a wide variety of King’s Flight and Queen’s Flight veterans recall their favourite moments, and between them they tell the whole story of royal flying, “from the hangar floor upwards”, recollecting all facets of life on ‘the flight’ during its 60-year lifespan.
There are also individual profiles of all the former commanders of the flights and many of its prominent personnel.
Compiled by Derek Sowerby & Jack Frost as a reference document by The Queen’s Flight Association as a tribute to former members of the Royal Flights, this book will also be of great interest to aviation historians, those who take an interest in the Royal Family and general readers curious to know what went on behind the scenes in this unique unit of the Royal Air Force.