Nov. 1 is the 100th anniversary of the first edition of Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft. During those 100 years, there have only been six editors who have documented the changing world of aircraft from the Bleriot to Concorde.
Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft is a renowned publication for technical and production details of all known powered aircraft, currently in or anticipating commercial production, in all countries of the world (apart from plans-built, flex-wings, balloons and gliders). A sister publication, Jane’s Aircraft Upgrades, covers other significant aircraft that remain in service, but are no longer being built.
One of the most coveted posts in aviation publishing, editor of the world famous Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft has only been held by only six editors in its 100-year history, starting with founding editor Fred T. Jane. who published the first edition in 1909. He was followed by C.G. Grey (1916-1940); Leonard Bridgman (1941-1959); John W R Taylor (1960-1989); Mark Lambert (1990-1994); and Paul Jackson (1995-present).
“Taking over the editorship of Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft was a huge honour and responsibility in equal measure,” said Jackson. “As I considered the enormity of taking over this historic role, I recalled the pungent smell of the balsawood glue that I used to make my flying model aircraft, the Airfix, Frog and Revell plastic kits, the long bicycle and hitch-hiking trips to collect aircraft registrations and my spare time spent underlining them in my Ian Allan spotters’ book compiled by John W R Taylor. I remembered my pocket money spent on aircraft magazines and books, writing to aircraft companies requesting pictures and information, my first cheque for 10 shillings for my first aircraft photograph published while I was still a schoolboy and the princely sum of £25 for my very first full-length article and then the slow realisation that I could probably make a living out of what had previously been a much-loved hobby.
“I felt as though my life up to then was just preparation for that moment. I remember, too, realising the daunting responsibility of assuming such a historic post with such an illustrious past and that I am charged with the eventual and awesome responsibility of handing the book over to a successor in the same, or better order than I received it. ”
The number of aircraft that have been included in Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft over the century is so vast that nobody has ever calculated it, officials noted.
Respect for the accuracy of Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft transcended political enmities. For instance, Cold War notwithstanding, Soviet authorities supplied Jane’s with information. During the Falkland’s Conflict, Argentina even provided details of its aircraft because of the technical reference book’s great reputation. Over the 100 years, there have been only 97 editions, due to various disruptions during the two World Wars.
The 100th-year edition of Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft contains details of 614 companies and 1,025 aircraft from 48 countries. Although 52 companies and 97 aircraft appear in the 2009-2010 edition for the first time, 99.5% of those carried forward from the previous year’s book, updated with new information.
The printed book comprises 1,060 pages, but the text and pictures are also available in electronic form, which is updated throughout the year for subscribers to this service.
For more information: Janes.com