This film is part of Free
Tests from Aeroplanes
Developing the lifebelt of the air - or "how the stranglehold demon was exorcised"
Non-Fiction 1916 13 mins Silent
The parachute is the lifebelt of the air, but if there is no room to wear one in the cockpit, how can it be safely deployed in seconds from the plane? The solution was to carefully pack one into a launching disc attached to the undercarriage, but as this film shows, the process was one of trial and error. This series of filmed experiments used the relatively young technology of the film camera to observe and diagnose this "stranglehold" problem - an early example of film being deployed for scientific purposes.
Filmed at the Chingford Royal Naval Air Station in June 1916, two pilots are shown putting themselves at risk for the safety of others in the future. It is somewhat ironic that testing a parachute system puts you in greater need of just such a safety net yourself.
1916 on Film
Non-Fiction 1916 1 mins Silent
A humble scrub is all it takes to get these French troops in a lather.
Non-Fiction 1916 14 mins Silent Location: Walney Island
The maiden flight of Britain's first successful rigid airship – just don’t call it a zeppelin…
Comedy 1916 12 mins Silent
A tramp steals the clothes from a scarecrow, but when he realises two couples are using its pockets to pass messages, he sees an opportunity.
Comedy 1916 11 mins Silent
Newlywed Tubby fancies another man's typewriter and ends up in hot water with his new wife
1916 8 mins Silent
Preston North End play Liverpool (probably) in a regional football competition during WWI.
Interest film 1916 7 mins Silent
Goat farming, salmon farming and copper mining all feature in this enlightening oddity.
Amateur film 1964 3 mins Silent Location: Chingford
At now-demolished Walthamstow Stadium, an amateur filmmaker captures the thrills of a sports day as well as the arena's famed Art Deco facade
Amateur film 1964 2 mins Silent Location: Chingford
Children and adults alike soak up the festive atmosphere as they wave ribbon wands, horse around and make merry at a north-east London carnival
Amateur film 1949 9 mins Silent Location: Chingford
A teacher's homemade documentary, peeking behind the scenes at Woodford Green post office.
Non-Fiction 1935 1 mins Location: Chingford
Short newsreel item on the construction of the art deco Chingford Odeon, produced for showing in the cinema on its opening day.
Documentary 1953 27 mins Location: London
Speeding round Britain by bike: taking in the scenery in a 1,600-mile competitive tour.
1926 40 mins Silent
Compelling travel feature edited from footage of the 1925-26 Worsley Algarsson Arctic expedition.
Inside Film 2021 41 mins
In this illustrated discussion, BFI programmer-at-large Geoff Andrew and Catherine Wheatley, the author of two books on Michael Haneke’s work, examine what makes him such a distinctive, important and often controversial cinematic artist.
Inside Film 2021 41 mins
Film critic Carmen Gray and film writer Ela Bittencourt discuss three films by trailblazing Czech filmmaker Věra Chytilová.
Inside Film 2021 40 mins
In this discussion, BFI programmer-at-large Geoff Andrew and Sue Harris, Professor of Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London, will focus on three titles to look at what made Malle such a rewarding filmmaker.
Inside Film 2021 38 mins
BFI National Archive curator Will Massa and film critic Beatrice Loayza explore the work of contemporary British filmmaker Joanna Hogg.
Inside Film 2021 47 mins
Writer and activist So Mayer joins filmmaker and critic Alexandra Hidalgo to discuss the work of acclaimed French director and artist Agnès Varda.