OU on the BBC: Nation On Film - Flying With Cobham

Updated Tuesday 24th October 2006

‘Flying with Cobham’ is the story of one trail-blazing pilot in the 1920s and his mission to get the British public airborne, as part of the BBC/OU's series Nation on Film.

Nation on film rhs 2 filmstrip Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC

Sir Alan Cobham sought every available means to achieve his goal; moving footage became a key vehicle for his propaganda.

Cobham was a World War One pilot who secured employment with an aerial photography company after the war. In 1924 he won the King’s Cup air race around Britain. He later became known for his adventurous flying trips to places like Africa and Australia.

Cobham realised that he needed to maximise filming opportunities if his message was to spread to a wider audience. In 1926 a documentary film-diary was made of his trip to Cape Town. Cinema audiences were treated to fantastic images of exotic locations. The footage included stunning aerial images of the Pyramids and Victoria Falls.

Later in his career Cobham also developed commercial ‘joy rides’ for people who wanted to experience flying. He staged the flying circus where the public would enjoy great aerial stunts including ‘wing walking’. However, Cobham never lost sight of the fact that he needed film to promote his pioneering activities.

First broadcast: Friday 14 Jan 2005 on BBC FOUR

Nation On Film in more depth:

 

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

OU on the BBC: Nation On Film - Kearton's Wildlife Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team for David Attenborough, BFI for photo article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Nation On Film - Kearton's Wildlife

'Kearton's Wildlife' looks at wildlife photography and film-making in the early 20th century, part of the BBC/OU's series Nation on Film.

Article
OU on the BBC: Nation On Film - Package Holidays Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Nation On Film - Package Holidays

Exploring the emergence of package holidays, as part of the BBC/OU's series Nation on Film.

Article
OU on the BBC: Nation On Film - Selling Cars Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Nation On Film - Selling Cars

A story of how film sold the car before the days of television advertising, part of the BBC/OU's series Nation on Film.

Article
OU on the BBC: Nation On Film - The Ramsden Collection Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Nation On Film - The Ramsden Collection

‘The Ramsden Collection’ examines a newly-discovered collection of amateur films from Yorkshire, as part of the BBC/OU's series Nation on Film.

Article
OU on the BBC: Nation On Film - About the series Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Nation On Film - About the series

This BBC/Open University series delves into Britain’s past to look at the country’s history as captured on film over the last 100 years.

Article
OU on the BBC: Nation On Film Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Nation On Film

Through rare archive footage, Nation on Film takes a fascinating look at history from both sides of the camera.

Article
Paul O'Grady's Working Britain: Order your free copy of 'A journal of working class life' Creative commons image Icon The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Paul O'Grady's Working Britain: Order your free copy of 'A journal of working class life'

Order a free booklet exploring different aspects of working class life in Britain through the years.

Article
OU Lecture 2008: Privileged work Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team audio icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU Lecture 2008: Privileged work

Asian nations have influenced global prices - and that, warns Professor Kaplinsky - has serious consequences for Africa.

Audio
10 mins
OU on the BBC: Our Crime Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Our Crime

We unpack and re-tell human stories behind the criminal act through the sometimes shocking images of youth crime caught on camera.

Article