British Aviation Research Group
The British Aviation Research Group (BARG) had its beginnings at Blackbushe Airport (then London’s second airport) in 1957 when the small group of young local aviation enthusiasts, decided to get together to produce a monthly list of aircraft movements. When Blackbushe closed as an international airport in 1960 the Group stayed together and widened its horizons so that the monthly movements lists gradually expanded to cover airfields further afield. As the membership of the Group gradually increased so did the contributors and it became possible to include reports from all over the country in the monthly magazine. With enthusiasts with particular military aviation interests joining the Group, and access to official records becoming more readily available, BARG was able to start producing monographs giving detailed histories of specific aircraft types.
British Aviation Review
The monthly magazine changed name several times over the years to reflect the extent of its content before finally becoming ‘British Aviation Review’. Having started as a two sided list of aircraft movements at only one airport, by the 1980s monthly output ranged between 48 and 80 pages. Coverage had expanded with reports from around the world, along with developments within foreign as well as UK air arms, along with illustrative photographs. Reports started to be categorised with separate sections within each magazine covering activities and sightings within the Army Air Corps, Royal Air Force, Fleet Air Arm, Manufacturers, US Military, Foreign Air Arms, Accidents and Incidents (Bangs & Prangs) and London Military (just RAF Northolt until 1988).
The period covered by DVD 3 includes Volumes 31 (1989) to 36 (1994) of ‘British Aviation Review’. In addition to the airfield sightings reports, included during this period are regular updates on the status of all aircraft types operated by the UK Armed Forces, changes to the units operating those aircraft, and detailed reports on the major exercises of the time. New serial allocations are detailed as are those aircraft allocated maintenance serials at the end of their flying service. Manufacturers’ reports cover companies worldwide, both large and small. In the US Military section detailed status reports are also provided of a variety of current types across all services, along with extensive unit news from frontline and reserve squadrons, numerous aircraft carrier reports, and regular information on activities at AMARC (the massive aircraft storage facility in Arizona). There are also historical surveys of various types that served with the US forces in Europe. Coverage in the Foreign Air Arm section is most extensive in Europe but many nations around the globe are also included. Bangs & Prangs also has worldwide coverage and includes a number of type summaries. London Military better reflects that the reports are by now from all airfields and landing grounds in the London area.
In the mid 1970s detailed historical research by a number of BARG members was producing sufficient information to justify a standalone magazine dealing solely with aircraft no longer in service and squadrons and air bases that were no longer operational with the UK armed forces. In 1976 ‘Roundel’ was launched.
The period of DVD 3 also includes Volumes 13 (1989) to 18 (1994) of ‘Roundel’ which covered a diversity of types from each of the three UK Armed Forces. RAF types: Armstong Whitworth Argosy; Avro Vulcan B.1; Gloster Meteor FR.9; McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2; Slingsby Sedburgh: Supermarine Swift and Westland Whirlwind HAR.2/4/10. FAA types: De Havilland Sea Venom; Fairey Gannet; Hawker Sea Hawk and for the AAC Auster AOP.9; DHC Beaver and Saro Skeeter. Also featured are historical serials allocations, both mainstream and in the Maintenance ‘M’ series. British Military crashes span the period 1969 to 1984.
During its history, BARG produced many standalone publications three of which (illustrated and stated below) are contained in DVD 2 . The bulk of the many other books and monographs will appear in DVD 1….so have patience!
- British Military Aircraft Serials and Markings
- French Military Wrecks and Relics
- Falklands – The Air War