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Summary: An RAF Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter aircraft taking off and landing on the deck of the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Argus, autumn 1918.
Description: There are two cameras filming the event, on either side of the flight deck and forward of midships - the cameramen can be seen at work on a number of occasions. The ship is steaming 15 knots and wind speed is 11 knots. The aircraft's propeller is turned over and it takes off for the first attempt (note the smoke pot near the bow giving wind direction). It comes in to land and is brought to a halt by arrester gear and a ramp. The same take-off and landing is then shown from the second camera's point of view. The mechanism of the plane's rotary engine can be seen very clearly. The aircraft's pilot is given as Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Bell-Davies VC, DSO, a former naval officer. The second take-off is a success but for the second landing the approach is too high, the aircraft overshoots and comes round again. The port camera shows the landing on the second attempt. After discussions between the pilot and the ship's officers the ship is slowed to 4 knots, with wind speed now 9 knots. The third take-off is perfect but again on landing the pilot overshoots at the first attempt and lands on the next time round with rather too high an airspeed, just stopping in time and bouncing badly. The same landing looks better as seen by the port camera.
Production Details: Admiralty (Production sponsor)
Royal Air Force (Production sponsor)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Bell-Davies, R (person)
Royal Air Force (regiment/service)
Royal Navy, ARGUS (HMS), aircraft carrier (regiment/service)
Keywords: ships, British naval - aircraft carrier, fleet: Argus (object name)
aircraft, British - combat: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter (object name)
training, British naval air - specialist: deck landing (object name)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Silent
Soundtrack language: None
Title language: English
Subtitle language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 630 ft; Running time: 11 mins
Notes: Summary: from after the formation of the RAF in April 1918 to the creation of the Fleet Air Arm twenty years later all pilots served in the RAF regardless of whether they flew from ships or land. Bell-Davies was like many pilots transferred from the Royal Navy with an RAF equivalent rank
Series continuity: there is no film held as IWM 628