100 Years of Civil Aviation

A History from the 1919 Paris Convention to Retiring the Jumbo Jet

By Ben Skipper


The book examines a century of civil aviation; in 1919 a fledgling industry was born out of civilianizing First World War bombers. The book covers the design and development of civil aircraft and all the personalities that shaped the industry; it features the hay-day of air travel before the advent of mass passenger transit, and the rise of smaller, austerity airlines. It covers the influence of military aircraft on civil planes, unpacks the laws that govern civil aviation and how they have changed over the past century. It chronicles air disasters, both mechanical and tyrannical, and for the first time, looks at the role of women in civil aviation. Playing its part in times of crisis, civil aviation has led rescue missions and covert operations; civilian pilots were often used to test and transport new aircraft from their manufacturers to the frontline, often unarmed and unescorted. The book ends with the quiet retirement of an icon, amid a global pandemic and what lies in store for a greener flying future.

Vintage Airfix Review:

I must admit that I enjoy reading a Ben Skipper book. This is usually due to the model-centric content. However, this book is a refreshing departure from the titles I am accustomed to seeing from him. And, I love it.

In this book, a brilliant historical reference is provided on the history of civil aviation. The book is written in near chronological order, and contains a number of interesting historical stories and details.