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Fly From London to Paris in a Biplane!

A fantastic bird's-eye view map of the early air route (circa 1928) between London and Paris, across the English Channel.

The map was produced as a joint promotion of Imperial Airways (the early British commercial long-range airline, operating from 1924 to 1939) and Shell (Shell-Mex) promoting their route and their petroleum products, respectively.

The pleasant blue-green pastoral look of the route between Croydon Airfield and Le Bourget, north of Paris, belies the danger of air travel at the time; in its first six years, Imperial Airways had 7 "incidents" resulting in 32 fatalities - even though their aircraft typically carried 20 passengers or fewer.

The London-Paris Imperial Airways route was evidently the first to screen a film for passengers; the 1925 film The Lost World.

The present map was preceded by a Handley Page map of the same route; that map had many similarities to the present one but was not colored.

Rumsey (8327) estimates the date as 1928. The map and covers show a three-engine variant of the Handley Page Type W (likely a W.8f, introduced around 1924).

Condition Description
Color-printed folding map mounted in original printed blue paper covers.
Rumsey 8327