21st Profile

Aviation-related Magazines Guide


Subtitled: The Magazine that Profiles Aircraft of the World. This was a 30 page glossy A4 size magazine, containing features on (typically) four different aircraft types in each issue – in a similar style to the old ‘Profile Publications’ series of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The profiles covered the design, development and evolution of the different versions of each type, but devoted little space to their operational use. Coverage included b+w photos, colour profiles, original manufacturers drawings, specifications, serial numbers etc. The majority of aircraft types featured were from World War Two, with some older types and a few post-war jets to give some variety. Note: Although called ‘Twentyfirst Profile’ on the front cover, the magazine referred to itself as ’21st Profile’.

Publishing History

First issue dated April 1991. Originally published monthly, but publication later became somewhat erratic and ceased with issue No.17.
The publisher was Edward Shacklady and the Editor Eric B Morgan, with colour drawings from Richard Ward (of ‘Aircam’ fame).

Contents/Issues Produced

[*] Contents Listing, Nos.1 – 17

Digital Access

No digital versions of back issues appear to be available.

Special Issues

No special issues were produced.

Further information

[No WorldCat entry]

Cover Gallery

To be added.
See All

21st Century Plastic Modeller

Aviation-related Magazines Guide


’21st Century Plastic Modeller’ was an aircraft scale modelling magazine for newcomers and budget-conscious modellers. The aim was to show that you don’t necessarily need lots of aftermarket accessories and expensive new-tooled kits to make a good model. Accordingly, the magazine focused on lower-priced aircraft kits from the major kit manufacturers (Airfix, Revell, Matchbox, Italeri etc.) that are readily available in model shops. Sections of the magazine were devoted to help for newcomers, kit reviews, hints and tips and how-to-build articles. Each issue also contained a scale plans feature. The majority of subjects were 1/72 scale kits of aircraft of the major world powers, with occasional coverage of the larger scales and smaller countries. All of the articles were very well written and amply illustrated, albeit only in black and white. The only colour in this A4 size publication was on the cover.

Publishing History

First issue dated July/August 2000. Published quarterly until issue no.10 (Volume 2 No.4 for 2002), after which it was absorbed into Vol.7 No.2 of ‘Mushroom Model Magazine‘, when Ron Firth retired from publishing.
The editor was Ron Firth, who aso produced ‘Plastic Kit Constructor‘.

Contents/Issues Produced

[*] Contents Listing, Issues 1-10

Digital Access

No digital versions of back issues appear to be available.

Special Issues

No special issues were produced.

Further information

[No WorldCat entry]
21st Century Plastic Modeller

Cover Gallery

To be added.
See All

United Kingdom

Country Profile

The Country


The United Kingdom lies off the coast of North Western Europe, and occupies the major portion of the British Isles. The country comprises the nations of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and several outlying islands. Its only land border is with the Republic of Ireland. The UK is separated from mainland Europe by the English Channel and the North Sea. To the west is the Atlantic Ocean. Neighbouring countries are France, Belgium and Norway.
In terms of topology, the UK is divided into two main areas, divided by a line running from the river Tees to the river Exe. North of this line lies a mountainous region forming most of Scotland, Wales, the English Lake District and Northern Ireland. The highest mountain is 1,344 m (4,409 ft) high. Lakes and lochs occupy many of the steep-sided valleys. The land south of the line is founded on softer rocks and clays and features ranges of hills separated by low-lying plains. The soil is particularly fertile here. The total land area is 241,600 sq km (95,282 sq miles).
The population of 60 million (2006 figure) comprises 80% English, 10% Scottish, 4% Northern Irish, 2% Welsh and 4% West Indian, Asian and other ethnic groups. 47% of the people are Anglican, 9% Roman Catholic, 4% Presbyterian, 3% Muslim, 1% Methodist and 36% other or non-religious. The capital city is London.

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National History

Summary Narrative History – to be added.

Timeline – Key Dates in British History

Further National Information

BBC News Profile: United Kingdom
Yahoo United Kingdom page
wikipedia: United Kingdom
wikipedia: History of the United Kingdom


Text to be added on the development of aviation in the United Kingdom.


Civil Aircraft Registrations

The registration sequence K-100 onwards was used early in 1919, but replaced by G-EAAA onwards in 1919, while lighter-than-air vehicles used the sequence G-FAAA onwards. G-AAAA onwards has been used since 1928, eg: G-BOAC. Class ‘B’ markings of the form G-xx-xx (using numbers not letters) for manufacturers test aircraft have been used since the 1930s. For a while in 1937 gliders were registered G-GAAA onwards, but this was soon abandoned.

All-time United Kingdom – BGA glider register
All-time United Kingdom – armed services associations glider register.
All-time united kingdom – B conditions civil aircraft register.
All-time United Kingdom – civil aircraft register (K-nnn G-aaaa)
[Get involved with the Aeroflight Cloud.]

Aircraft Operators

Military Air Arms

Current military air arms-
Air Force (Royal Air Force)
Naval Aviation (Fleet Air Arm)
Army Aviation (Army Air Corps)
Marine Aviation (Royal Marine Commandos)

Historical military air arms-
Army Aviation (Royal Flying Corps) [1912-1918]
Naval Aviation (Royal Naval Air Service) [1912-1918]
Reserve Aviation (Royal Auxiliary Air Force – see Royal Air Force)

Central Government Agencies

Government Aviation (Queen’s Flight/King’s Flight)
Coast Guard (H.M. Coastguard)
Environment Patrol (Environment Agency)
Fisheries Patrol (Marine Fisheries Agency)
Test & Evaluation (Qinetiq – formerly called DERA)
Flight Inspection (Flight Calibration Unit – FCU)
Science Research (Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements – FAAM)
Weather Research (Met Office Civil Contingency Aircraft – MOCCA)

Regional Government Agencies

Fisheries Patrol (Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency)

Public Service Aviation

Medical Aviation
Police Aviation
Fire Service

Commercial Aviation

wikipedia: Airlines of United Kingdom
The World’s Airlines: United Kingdom

Private Aviation

Private contractors for Government/Military Services-
Cobham Aviation (formerly: Flight Refuelling Ltd)
Directflight Ltd
DO Systems


Aircraft Manufacturers

To be added

Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots

None known.


Civil Airports & Airfields

Airports in United Kingdom

Military Air Bases & Airfields

Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

On Show

Aviation Museums

Guide to UK Aviation Museums

Airshow Dates

Key Airshow Dates

More Information

Aviation-Related Magazines

Magazines Guide for the United Kingdom

Aviation Bibliography

UK Aviation bibliography

Web Links

To be added

United Kingdom Key Dates

500,000 BP    First humans in Britain.
6500 BC    Britain separated from mainland Europe by rising sea levels.
4200 BC    First farms established.
2950 BC    Stonehenge built.
2500 BC    Start of Bronze Age.
750 BC    Start of Iron Age.
150 BC    Large tribal kingdoms become dominant.
43 AD    Roman Empire invades and occupies much of Britain.
60-61 AD    Revolt by native tribes under Boudica.
409 AD    End of Roman rule in Britain.
450 AD    Saxon migration into Britain begins.
878    Danelaw established in Eastern England.
October 1066    Duke William of Normandy invades England and soon becomes king.
1534    Henry VIII breaks with Catholic Church and founds Church of England.
1588    Defeat of the Spanish Armada.
1607    Settlement of Virginia in America founded.
1642    Civil War begins.
1649    King Charles I executed. England becomes a Republic.
1660    Monarchy restored under Charles II.
1688    William of Orange invited to become king.
1707    Union of England and Scotland.
1776    Declaration of American Independence.
1801    Union with Ireland.
1803    War with Napoleonic France begins.
1815    Napoleon defeated.
1854-56    Crimean War – Anglo-French alliance attacks Russia.
1858    Indian Mutiny.
1899-1902    Boer War in South Africa
1904    Alliance with France signed
1907    Alliance with Russia signed
4 August 1914    British Empire joins the First World War
11 November 1918    Armistice ends the First World War
1921    Irish Free State leaves the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland remains part of the UK
1938    Munich Crisis – Britain abandons Czechoslovakia to German occupation
3 September 1939    UK declares war on Germany. Britain joins the Second World War
July-September 1940    Battle of Britain – Britain fights alone against Germany
8 December 1941    Britain responds to Japanese attacks by declaring war
6 June 1944    Allies launch D-Day invasion of German-occupied France from Britain
8 May 1945    Germany surrenders – war in Europe ends
14 August 1945    Japan surrenders – Pacific war ends
1945    The UK becomes a permanent member of the UN Security Council
1947    India and Pakistan given independence
July 1947-Sept 1949    Berlin Airlift keeps the city from Soviet control
4 April 1949    Britain becomes a founder member of NATO
1950-1953    British forces committed to Korean War under the UN
November 1956    Britain intervenes militarily in Suez Canal Zone, but withdraws under US pressure
1969    British troops sent into Northern Ireland to restore peace
1973    UK joins the European Economic Community (later known as the EU)
1982    Argentina invades the Falklands Islands. British task force retakes the islands.
1990-1991    First Gulf War to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation
1995    NATO Operation ‘Determined Force’ in Bosnia
September 1997    Referendums in Wales and Scotland back the creation of national assemblies
1998    Good Friday Agreement on political settlement in Northern Ireland
March-June 1999    NATO Operation ‘Allied Force’ – ending the ethnic killing in Kosovo
1999    Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly established
2000    British forces intervene in Sierra Leone to restore peace
2001-2002    Invasion of Afghanistan
March 2003    Invasion of Iraq – Second Gulf War
July 2005    Suicide bomb attacks in London

Airfields of the United Kingdom

Click on each Name for more details

Location Name ICAO IATA Usage Status
Aberdeen Aberdeen Airport EGDP ABZ public active
Abingdon RAF Abingdon EGUD ABB military closed
Alconbury RAF Alconbury EQWZ military closed
Aldermaston RAF Aldermaston military closed
Ballykelly RAF Ballykelly EGQB military closed
Bristol-Lulsgate Bristol Airport (2) EGGD BRS public active
Bristol-Whitchurch Bristol Airport (1) public closed
Brize Norton RAF Brize Norton EGVN military active
Castle Donnington East Midlands Airport EGNX EMA public active
Kemble Cotswold Airport EGBP private active
Weston-super-Mare Weston-super-Mare Airport EGFI public closed

Commercial Operators – United Kingdom

Quick jump:

Remove operators not currently active

                                                                                  Sort columns by:

Click on each Name for more details

Name IATA Code ICAO Code Status
Air Wales n/a n/a ceased
Alderney Air n/a AD renamed
Atlantic Airlines AT ATL active
British Airways (1) n/a n/a ceased
British Airways (2) BA BAW active
British Caledonian Airways BC BCA ceased
British European Airways BE BEA ceased
Castle Air CS CAS active
Cloud Air n/a n/a renamed
Coventry Aviation n/a n/a ceased
Darlington Air Cargo DL DAC ceased
Delta Aviation Services DE DAS active
Devon Airways n/a n/a ceased
Eastern Airways T3 EZE active
EasyJet U2 EZY active
Eglinton Air Services EG QWE ceased
Elite Airways EL ELQ ceased

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Aircraft Manufacturers in the United Kingdom

Quick jump: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on each Name for more details

Popular Name Status
ADC ceased
Airspeed ceased
Armstrong-Whitworth ceased
Arrow closed
BAC – British Aircraft Corporation ceased
Boulton Paul ceased
Bristol ceased

An Overlook of the Air Defense
of Great Britain: 1946-1985

With the end of World War II, there were a sense in most political and society circles inside Great Britain that the country could gradually scale down its high military alert status. Unfortunately for them, the Berlin crisis of 1948 and the Korean War just two years later, rekindle in the country the spectrum of Hitler’s Blitz of 1940. As a direct result of those two crises, the Royal Air Force (RAF) Fighter Command strength remained about the same levels of WW II thought much of the 1950s. Fighter Command achieved its pick in total air assets in 1957. Total inventory that summer topped 600 operational fighters augmented by a powerful network of airfields and radar arrays. That year also marked a major policy shift inside the Ministry of Defense. This “shift” would drain Great Britain of its air defense independency in a couple of decades.

In the autumn of 1957, policymakers began evaluation the Soviet Union’s nuclear missile capacity and the threat it actually represent to the U.K. At the time, the United States enjoyed an overwhelming nuclear deterrence force. This overwhelming arsenal will lead Britain’s leaders to adopt a new policy. A policy referred to as Trip-Wire. As part as of the policy review, it was decided that from 1957 onward, the biggest threat facing Britain was the vulnerability of its nuclear delivery force: the newly developed V-bomber fleet, to the USSR’s ever increasing nuclear ballistic missile force. It was suggested that a fighter shield, augmented by a powerful detection network ringing the V-bomber’s bases could provide the force enough time to take-off and to commence its retaliatory profile. The “trip-wire” strategy was coupled with Britain’s ability to deliver a massive nuclear strike deep inside the USSR. It was because of Britain’s leaders strong believes in trip-wire that Fighter Command did not proceed with many advance research and development projects. It also did not saw the necessity to invest high amounts of money into fighter concepts and/or procurement of new systems. But as the Soviet’s ballistic missile capacity grew, both policies began to show their flaws. Because of the projected parity between American and Soviet nuclear arsenals, leaders in the UK began to understand that the next conflict will most likely be fought on a mix (conventional and nuclear) environment. Britain’s whole defense posture will now be asked to operate in a non-nuclear environment as well as an atomic one. This change in position destroyed the operating assumption of the trip-wire strategy and, to a lesser extend, that of massive retaliation.

In the mid 1960s it was recognized by the MoD that a Soviet conventional air threat was larger than their nuclear one. Unfortunately for Britain, years of following “trip-wire” have reduced its operational air defense structure to a bare minimum. It was not just a matter of the numbers of available airplanes it was also the matter of the shortness of men and material. Years of budgetary constraints and of neglecting available systems left Britain’s once powerful radar and control network in a state of flux. Adding to this problem was the lack of operational airfields. By the end of 1945, the UK possessed one airfield per every twenty kilometers. A ratio that held true for most of the 1950s. But by the late 1960s there were only a handful of them. Most of the decommissioned airfields were handed over to municipalities for land development.

The arrival of the new air-deployed stand-off weapon platforms in the early seventies forced air defenses specialist to think on a wider band range. Air defenses operational ranges were now pushed out hundreds of kilometers in order to engage the launching aircraft in time. By now the British were assigned by the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) a much wider air defense sector. Beside the Home Islands sector, the UK was now responsible for the vital Easter Atlantic area which extend from the Channel to the North Norwegian Sea in the north and out very nearly to the coast of Iceland in the west. This was a tall order for any country to assume. If NATO’s fears were ever to be realized then Britain’s air resources in the mid-seventies would prove inadequate for the task because as a rearward base for SACEUR and a forward base for SACANT, roles that were assigned to England because of its geographical position rather than by air defense strategies, they would be a prime target for the numerical superior Soviet Red Air Force.

SACLANT called for a British operational profile that beside air defense included anti-submarine warfare and air patrols in support of maritime shipping operations in the Eastern Atlantic and Channel areas. SACLANT’s command also viewed the UK as its home base for mounting flack support for its strike fleet in case it needed to fight its way against the Soviet sea and air assets deployed on the North Norwegian Sea. The other command, SACEUR planned to use the UK as a mounting base for much of the deeper air penetration effort just inside the forward edge of the Soviet’s battle sector in Continental Europe. In the case of war, the UK bases would have also served as the “world” largest air bridge. Much as it happened during World War II, Great Britain would act as a gigantic aircraft carrier. Heavy lift aircraft and jumbo commercial planes carrying thousand of troops and supplies would make the UK its staging area before deployment to the Continent. It was in this area where the British Air Defence Commander asserted its independence, because it was his Command that was assigned the task of defending the air bridge.

Thank God war never erupted in the mid to late 1960s because the RAF was woefully unprepared for it. Years of attrition and budgetary constraints have left the RAF Fighter Command a “shell of its former self”. Gone was the force that once could blank most of the sky above Europe. But the situation began to improve in the mid 1970s. By the fall of 1976, the RAF as a whole was beginning to rise from the ashes. That same year the RAF added two additional air defense squadrons fitted with upgraded Lighting interceptors. The RAF was also in the process of making the F-4 Phantoms the backbone of its air defense component. It had re-deployed the vaunted Bloodhound surface-to-air missile system (SAM) to the south east corner of the country for low level protection. Riper SAMs were deployed to the country’s northern areas to guard the vital bomber bases. If the present looked good to the RAF’s top brass, the future was looking even better. In the pipelines laid the much anticipated Tornado air superior platform which was schedule to replace the Phantom by the mid 1980s. The force was also expecting delivery of its coveted Nimrod Airborne Early Warning aircraft. Major improvements were also performed to the extremely important radar and communication network. The RAF was also planning the deployment of a new and flexible jamming resisting data link connecting the United Kingdom Air Defence Ground Environment (UKADGE) with fighter base control centers and early detection platforms. UKADGE was a control and communication interface system that worked through a mutually supporting hardened control centers and accepted digitized data from all sensors (ground, early warning stations, sea bases sensors and airborne radar platforms) British, French and NATO. The system gave Air Defense Commander an immediate profile of the air threat and resources available to counter it.

The mid 1970s also produce another, equally important, development; a shift in the political environment in Great Britain. The massive Soviet expansion of the early 1970s brought the threat of conventional destruction to the UK’s door step. In this climate, the RAF was able to find many influential allies inside the House of Commons who were able to push forward a very ambitious air expansion program. Of course, any major rearmament effort not only needs monetary support but a more boarder production base that not only include production lines, but also the training of thousand of skill workers and their support facilities. Nevertheless, rearmament began in the late 1970s at a frantic pace. By the summer of 1985 delivery of Tornado units were considerable thanks to the efforts of around-the-clock production lines. That same year, the Nimrod began entering front line service replacing the aged Shackleton (AEW). New SAM batteries were deployed to every operational airfield. New systems, such as the EUROSAM, a joint British-French venture, were also in the process of being incorporated into the RAF’s air defense structure. For air-to-air refueling, the RAF began to utilize the recently converted V-10 transport aircraft as well as a small number of converted Boeing jets.

Despite these and other measures taken by the RAF in during the first half of the 1980s, the force was still short of the skilled manpower needed to run its new and sophisticated systems. As the seventies gave way to the eighties, more and more RAF pilots and specialized ground personnel began to emigrate into the more profitable private sector. Despite several pay increased, such as the one of 1978, RAF retention rates began decrease dramatically. By the middle of the decade, turnover rates in the RAF began to stabilize and, in some areas (ground support personnel) it actually stopped. It’s safe to say that by 1985 the RAF’s operational capabilities were back to its immediate post WW II levels. Total number of available aircraft by 1985 fluctuated between 850 and 1,100 (including the Royal Navy) with more (around 200) on reserve alter status. Its once vaunted radar detection system was again one of the world’s top technological marvels and its active and reserve manpower was increasing in ratio with the country’s population for the first time in three decades. Not small feats considering the turmoil of the 1960s and 70s.

– Raul Colon

The Encyclopedia of 20th Century Air Warfare, Editor Chris Bishop, Amber Books 2001
The Classic Book on Military Strategy, BH Liddell Hart, Penguin Book 1991
How to Make War, James F. Dunnigan, HarperCollins Books 1993