Battle of Britain (1969)
The legendary battle that saw an outnumbered few RAF pilots defeat the mighty Luftwaffe and thwart Hitler’s plan to invade Britain. Summarised perfectly by Churchill in the film’s closing line: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”
Hell’s Angels (1930)
Howard Hughes’ famous World War one film about Oxford students and brothers Roy and Monte who join the RAF and go on a dangerous bombing mission. Their love of the same woman adds a twist to the already gripping tale. Due for a 2013 remake with Tony Scott directing.
Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965)
The full title continues: Or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 Hours 11 Minutes. Yes, it’s a comedy. A rich Brit offers £10,000 (back in 1910!) for the winner of a flying race to Paris from London, all to prove Britain is king of the skies. Hilarious consequences ensue.
Aces High (1976)
Malcolm MacDowell and Christopher Plummer star in this wartime film about a naïve young pilot arriving to fight on the western front. The high death rate for pilots and ensuing strain on survivors makes for an emotional viewing tempered with action from some great dogfights.
The Blue Max (1966)
The late George Peppard stars as a from-the-trenches WW1 German fighter pilot determined to best his aristocratic pilot peers by winning the Blue Max medal for 20 airborne kills. Ursula Andress provides him with distraction, but we can't help feeling he could have done with a cigar. At all times.