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We often get asked why we don’t create a digital archive for visitors to our website to search. Believe us when we say we’ve thought about it, but with over 10-million aerial images in our archive, some dating back to the early 60s, it would be a near impossible task to digitise them all.

So, although we have many landmarks and places of cultural interest digitally archived, many images of UK properties are only stored in our vast physical archive. In order to locate images of private houses taken over several decades, we first have to compare postcodes against our flight record maps to identify in which years aerial photography flights took place.

We have several thousand flight record maps dating back to the early 1960s from which we can identify the years in which photographs were taken, before narrowing down the search for specific properties.

Our aerial photography archive is arranged by flight. Each flight has its own code and most often was a single round-trip from a local airfield to a specific location on a single day. Each of these flights is logged on a flight records map, which we use as a starting point for our research.

Below are some examples of flight record maps that relate to a single year in which images of a location were taken.