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Aerial Journeys | Looking at the British landscape from the air

About this collection

Inspired by the television series 'Britain From Above', this collection brings together highlights from over 60 years of broadcasting from the air, narrated by some distinguished personalities.

Dating from 1949, it includes the test footage of the first live aerial broadcast and samples of the first major television series filmed entirely from the air. Included are also other ways the BBC has taken to the skies over the years, from hot-air balloon to RAF jet.

Documents also reveal the drama behind some of the ambitious broadcasts and a famous poet's involvement in this aerial story.

Aerial Journeys Collection

A BBC microphone.

Children's Hour

How It's Done: Aerofilms

RECORDED c. 1946
14 MINUTES

Aerial photographers discuss their work from the early 1900s onwards.

A propeller on a plane in flight.

News

Air Ambulance

BROADCAST 1949
5 MINUTES

The air ambulance of Renfrew is called into action.

A BBC camera in the 1950s.

Newsreel

Operation Pegasus

BROADCAST 1950
2 MINUTES

News report on the first live television filming from the air.

A 1950s BBC News and Newsreel logo.

Newsreel

Car Engined Plane Wins Air Race

BROADCAST 1951
4 MINUTES

Raymond Baxter reports on the South Coast Air Race.

RAF personnel in the 1950s.

Television Goes Flying

BROADCAST 1955
15 MINUTES

The BBC makes its second attempt to broadcast live from the air.

The fountain in front of Chatsworth House.

Bird's Eye View

The Englishman's Home

BROADCAST 1969
49 MINUTES

The first episode of a groundbreaking series on Britain as viewed from the air.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Bird's Eye View

Man on the Move

BROADCAST 1969
47 MINUTES

Aerial views of mankind's various modes of transport through the ages.

The Bird's Eye View helicopter.

Bird's Eye View

Green and Pleasant Land

BROADCAST 1969
44 MINUTES

What were the implications for a countryside under constant threat of development?

A sand castle decorated with a Union flag.

Bird's Eye View

Beside the Seaside

BROADCAST 1969
50 MINUTES

Britain's seaside life, viewed from the air.

Raymond Baxter.

Tomorrow's World

Maps

BROADCAST 1970
5 MINUTES

'Tomorrow's World' explores the scientific feat of aerial photo mapping.

The lighthouse on the cliffs of Lundy, facing out to sea.

Bird's Eye View

From Bishop Rock to Muckle Flugga

BROADCAST 1970
49 MINUTES

An aerial journey from a lighthouse in the South West to the north of the Shetland Isles.

Snowdonia National Park as seen from the top of Mount Snowdon.

Bird's Eye View

Wales: the Western Stronghold

BROADCAST 1971
47 MINUTES

Take a journey over land and through time with this film of Wales shot entirely from the air.

The Red Arrows on display.

Go With Noakes

The Red Arrows

BROADCAST 1976
25 MINUTES

John Noakes meets members of the Red Arrows.

A view of Stonehenge.

Chronicle

Digging from the Air

BROADCAST 1979
50 MINUTES

Britain's ancient past is discovered from the air.

Hot air balloons in flight.

Hot Air!

BROADCAST 1982
29 MINUTES

Glide over Wiltshire in a hot-air balloon.

The Cairngorms, Scotland.

The Living Isles

After the Ice

BROADCAST 1986
39 MINUTES

A natural history programme on Ice Age Britain.

The Seven Sisters on the East Sussex coast.

Q.E.D.

Round Britain Whizz

BROADCAST 1986
30 MINUTES

Britain's coastline as you've never seen it before.

A microlight aircraft.

Rally in the Sky

Coast to Coast 2: From the Dales to Flamborough Head

BROADCAST 1987
29 MINUTES

Six intrepid teams race their microlights across the roof of England.

Janet Ellis, standing next to a plane and preparing for a parachute jump.

Blue Peter Special

Freefall Record Breaker

BROADCAST 1987
25 MINUTES

Janet Ellis takes to the skies as she trains for a freefall parachute jump.

Lake District scenery.

The Everest Years

BROADCAST 1988
45 MINUTES

Reflections of a mountaineer while climbing in the Lake District.

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