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Brace by Wire to Fly-by-Wire
80 Years of the Royal Air Force 1918 - 1998

Peter R March

Laser Surgery

Ronald Wong

Laser Surgery by Ronald Wong

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This book chronicles the history of the RAF using art from a collection of leading aviation artists including Wilfred Hardy, Gerald Coulson, Charles Thompson and Keith Woodcock. Originally released in 1993 to mark 75 years of the RAF, this updated and reissued edition celebrates 80 years of both the RAF and the RAF Benevolent Fund whose sterling work raises millions of pounds each year for service charities.

The body of the book takes each year in turn, a narrative summary of  RAF activity is complimented by a diary giving dates of key events, and a full colour plate of a painting relevent to the period. Overall the presentation is good with most pictures reproducing well. In summary this is a good combination of useful reference and some excellent examples of aviation art.

Brace by Wire orig cover small

Original cover

Revised cover

Short Sunderland V

Short Sunderland V by Keith Woodcock

Winter Warm-up

Winter Warm Up by David Wright
Avro Vulcan B1s of No 83 Squadron by Norman Hoad Handley Page Victor B1A by David Shepherd

Introductions by
The Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Tony Blair
Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Charles Guthrie
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Viscount Trenchard of Wolfeton

Harrier GR 3 Over Port Stanley by Eric Day

Reviewer’s Pick
Eric Day exploits the fluid and spontaneous properties of the watercolour medium to full effect in his dramatic portrayal of a Harrier GR 3 Over Port Stanley.

All images copyright the individual artists or publishers.



Introduction by HRH The Duke of Kent


The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund


Introduction by The P M Tony Blair


The Royal Air Force 1918 to 1998


Introduction by Gen. Sir Charles Guthrie




Introduction by ACM Sir Richard Johns


The Contributing Artists


Marshal of the RAF Viscount Trenchard


The Guild of Aviation Artists

First published in hardback to mark 75 years of the RAF in 1993. It was then revised and updated with extra content and reissued as a softback in 1998 to mark the 80th anniversary, this version had a different cover illustration.

Publishing Information - First Edition (hardback)

Publisher: RAF Benevolent Fund

ISBN: 0-9516581-3-1 

Released: 1993

Size: 11 x 9 inches

Pages: 166

Colour images: 76

Publishing Information - Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged (softback)

Publisher: RAF Benevolent Fund

ISBN: 1-899808-06-X 

Released: 1998

Size: 11 x 9 inches

Pages: 176

Colour images: 81


First edition:

Out of print, only available on the secondary market.

Revised edition:

Out of print, only available on the secondary market.

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