Flying the Secret Sky: The Story of the RAF Ferry Command

About the Show

A documentary that sheds light on an unheralded World War II operation. In the early 1940s, civilian pilots from the Montreal-based Ferry Command delivered thousands of American-built bombers to aid Britain during its darkest hour. The crews flew experimental, transatlantic routes in short-range bomber aircraft fresh off American assembly lines into fierce winds, intense storms and dense fog. With few navigational aids, these 'cowboys of the sky' braved the then-unknown force of jet stream and the constant risk of running out of fuel on 15-hour flights. The programme weaves together first-hand accounts from Ferry Command veterans interviewed at their 60th reunion. Air Commodore Taffey Powell, billionaire financier Kirk Kerkorian, Flight Engineer John Affleck and Captain Bill VanDerKloot, the American wartime pilot for Prime Minister Winston Churchill and father of the film's Peabody Award-winning film-maker, describe their recruitment and the lure of their perilous secret mission.