Flying High at Fifty
Ann Hills introduces the Popular Flying Association - builders of prototypes and historical reenactments.
Many magnificent men were lost in their flying machines in the Second World War, during which civilian Flying was halted. Its revival was marked in 1946 by the founding of the Ultra Light Aircraft Association (ULAA) 'to encourage the design, construction and ownership of all types of ultra-light aircraft' - that is of powered machines with an all-up weight not exceeding 1,200 pounds, and an engine not exceeding 75 bhp (brake horsepower), according to contemporary reports.
This peacetime initiative encouraged flying for pleasure and recreation. To put the date in perspective, 1946 was the year in which the Air Ministry passed Heathrow over to the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
A few years later, the Association took over the pre-war magazine, Popular Flying, and took on the magazine's name. The renamed Popular Flying Association (PFA) was on the way to building up to today's membership - 8,500 pilots and their followers.