Aerial Journeys | Looking at the British landscape from the air

Operation Pegasus Memo

The costs of the first live broadcast from the air.

BBC ARCHIVE
WRITTEN DOCUMENT 1950


From: A.H.O.B. (Tel.) 10th October, 1950.

Subject: "OPERATION PEGASUS"

To: C.Tel. Copy to: S.S.E. Tel. H.Te1.P. H.O.B.
A.H.P.I.D. E.i.C.Tel. O.B.s

It now appears that the final cost to the Corporation of producing pictures from the air will be in the region of £400. Although the programmes did not materialise as planned, the financial outlay was by no means wasted as a considerable amount of useful technical and programme knowledge was acquired.

A.H.P.I.D. has received an offer from the Ministry of Civil Aviation to undertake further tests from an aircraft and I believe that this is now being considered by A.C.E. and S.S.E. Tel. Apparently the Home Office and Service Ministries are also very interested in our experiments.

I should very much like the opportunity to redeem our honour on the programme side with further - and perhaps more ambitious - OBs from the air, and suggest that we should support any possibility of tests being carried out during the winter months when we can best spare a limited number of specialist technicians and the necessary equipment. It should then be possible to undertake further air OBs in the spring.

Thomas is keen to experiment with an existing 350 watt vision transmitter in an aircraft which should overcome most of the technical aerial polarisation difficulties encountered on the recent OBs. I have in mind the possibility of televising from the air Birmingham, London and Paris. If tests are successful this should be possible without any extravagant expenditure.

We are also hoping, as soon as the Korean War finishes, to negotiate with the Royal Navy and Aircraft Carrier OB, probably from the Solent. This should supply exciting and interesting programme material.

[signature]
Peter Dimmock

JH


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Document Type | Internal Memo

10 September 1950

Document version

Writtenin

1950

Synopsis

An internal memo from Peter Dimmock, the Assistant Head of Outside Broadcasts, to the Controller of Television outlining the costs of 'Operation Pegasus' explaining some of the lessons learnt, and noting future plans for further aerial broadcasts. The BBC archive has the test footage of this broadcast as shown in 'Newsreel'.

Did you know?

Peter Dimmock was a former RAF pilot. He joined the BBC in 1946 and was a producer or commentator on more than 500 television relays, including many 'firsts': the Olympic Games (1948), the first international television relay, from Calais (1950), King George VI's funeral (1952), the Coronation from Westminster Abbey (1953), the first televised state opening of Parliament (1958), the first TV Grand National (1960), and Princess Margaret's wedding (1960). He also created the programme 'Sportsview'.

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