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Birth of Flight: History of Civil Aviation


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Product Details

  • Actors: Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, Henri Fabre, Sir Frank Whittle, William E. Boeing
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 416 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004132I3E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,760 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

A Fascinating 7-Hour Documentary Series!

A Complete Chronology of the World of Aviation!

 From the exhilarating and perilous days of early fight, to the present, where travel on commercial flights all over the world is as common as travel by car, this program chronicles the complete history of the airplane and the persons who have had the biggest impact on the world of aviation including: Wilbur and Orville Wright, Henri Fabre, Sir Frank Whittle, William E. Boeing and many more!

A Complete Chronology of the World of Aviation!

When the Wright brothers successfully took to the sky in 1903, the world paid attention. Civil aviation has since developed into a multi-billion dollar industry capable of transporting passengers from anywhere, every hour of every day. We look at the incredible history and development of civil aviation in this series. From Lindburgh through to modern marvels such as the Boeing 787, this 8-part series explores the amazing world of aviation!

CONTENTS:

  • EPISODE 1 - This program looks at the beginnings of flight, with innovators such as Benjamin Franklin and Leonardo DaVinci coming up with new ways to give man wings, and chronicles the invention of hot air balloons, Zeppelins, box kites, and of course the story of the most influential inventors of all - Wilbur and Orville Wright
  • EPISODE 2 - The first decades of aviation brought both triumph and tragedy. A new breed of adventurers looked to the heavens for their challenges, and thrilled audiences around the world. The advent of the movie camera meant that their exploits could be broadcast to every corner of the globe, and recorded for posterity.
  • EPISODE 3 - The decades following the First World War saw air craft designers pushing the boundaries of aeronautical technology, moving the industry forward at a rapid pace. With new commercial markets opening up, it was the visionaries who held the key to success.
  • EPISODE 4 - The years following the First World War saw flying take off as business. Flying became a bigger feature of life all around the world, not just as a novelty "adventure" for rich people but as a mode of transport available to just about anyone.
  • EPISODE 5 - Seaplane development went from strength to strength, with Seaplanes becoming the largest aircraft in the world by the end of the First World War. Seaplanes saw the dawn of the aviation industry as they could accommodate large numbers of passengers between continents, and only required a smooth body of water to land.
  • EPISODE 6 - Flying at the speed of sound was made a reality when traditional rivals Britain and France collaborated to build the world's first Concorde, a jet that could traverse the Atlantic in just 3 hours, at twice the speed of sound, around about 1400 miles an hour!
  • EPISODE 7 - The Boeing 737 twin engine jetliner was to become Boeing's greatest success because of the fact that it has one of the lowest approach speeds of any jet transport and the minimum equipment required for refueling.
  • EPISODE 8 - The development of more sophisticated airplanes eventually made twin-engine, long-distance travel feasible. A new standard was introduced, known as Extended Range Twin-Engine Operation.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
A great addition to any aviation DVD library.
Dave
The information provided throughout is very interesting but the attempt at providing background music is quite painful much of the time.
Joseph B. Stokes
I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in aviation.
Ruth Lott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Airboy on November 27, 2010
Verified Purchase
This is a very well done series on the history of aviation. As a pilot of over 30 years and a history buff I was surprised to learn things that I had not previously known. Someone did a fine job of researching old photos and film footage not seen in other videos of this type. I'm not a tech-no-nut but I found the quality of the disks to be easily viewable. Good value for money.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By CQ DX TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 16, 2011
This is one of the best civil aviation history documentaries I have ever seen (and i've seen many). The classic footage is fantastic, and much of it even seems a bit restored in it's clarity. The DVD spans the whole gamut of historical flight, from balloons to dirigibles to airplanes, including the invention of the jet engine and how it changed the world. Since this is a history of commercial aviation, do not expect much mention of specific military aircraft. All in all, a very enjoyable 7 hours or so of classic aviation, and very well done.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Manning on March 1, 2013
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I found this collection of civil aviation videos to be very informative and generally well done. But as an American, I was unpleasantly surprised to find very little coverage of significant aircraft from the States. For example: There was hardly any footage dealing with what most aviation experts consider one of the most significant airliners - the Douglas DC-3. Also missing was Piper, Cessna, etc. (although the collection seemed to gloss over general aviation aircraft in general). Bottom line: well done and interesting, but definitely unevenly non-comprehensive.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Charles Hall on October 18, 2012
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I have only watched the first disc in this set. There are no credits on the screen or the packaging to give you a hint as to who produced this.

The portion I saw consisted of a sequence of still images with a vaguely British-accented narrator reading text only loosely related to the images. There is also continuous random background music.

But if you're familiar with early aviation, you'll be surprised at the wonderful and knowledgeable selection of photos!

Look, at this price you can't go wrong. What you'll get is not as good as the best TV documentary, but better than many I've seen.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Lott on December 29, 2011
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This DVD was purchased as a Christmas gift for my husband who has been an avid pilot since he was 16 years of age. He did not know this was availble and was thrilled to receive it. I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in aviation.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Glen Boisseau Becker on March 22, 2012
This package actually presents just the first eight episodes of a 13-part Australian TV series, originally called "The Amazing World of Aviation: Past, Present & Future," dating from 2009. Each episode runs about 52 minutes, and for those with a reasonably sustained attention span, it offers plentiful film footage--not previously in widespread circulation--depicting all kinds of aircraft from 1903 through the 1960s.

The series does not offer detailed reenactments of the prehistory of powered flight, as in the memorable 1936 movie "Conquest of the Air." Far more surprising, it almost completely skips over the role of aircraft in World War II (some of which can be seen in the series "Victory at Sea," also available cheaply from Mill Creek Entertainment). The viewer periodically wonders how the series' creators decided what to include; for instance, Wiley Post is mentioned as the first aviator to make a solo flight around the world, but I don't recall any mention of his tragic death.

To be sure, the "Birth of Flight" videos do take us well beyond the BIRTH of flight. But given the excision of nearly 50 years of modern aviation history, the title has inevitably been amended to remove the "present" and "future" of the original series name.

In general, the film clips are organized topically rather than in strict chronological sequence; they are at times slightly repetitive, at other times brisk enough that one has to listen carefully to keep the names and dates straight. Fluent narration is provided by Stuart Sykes, who has a Scottish accent but does a creditable job of pronouncing foreign names. Understandably, the visual quality of the film footage--some of it more than 100 years old--is uneven.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Isaac Richmond Nettey on January 21, 2013
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The 'Birth of Flight: History of Civil Aviation' DVD offers an excellent and effective presentation of a very comprehensive survey of aviation history at an expedited pace.

In several important respects, the 'Birth of Flight: History of Civil Aviation' DVD manages to cover practically all the important developments in aviation history successfully.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave on April 21, 2012
Highly recommend this great DVD of aviation history. A great addition to any aviation DVD library. Here's a DVD about a tragic part of aviation history: Return to Dwight And Nile: The Crash Of PSA Flight 182
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