Jane's All the World's Aircraft
|Editor||Paul Jackson, FRAeS|
|Publisher||Jane's Information Group|
Jane's All the World's Aircraft has chronicled a century of ever-accelerating aviation progress and recorded the particulars of an unprecedented number of flying machines, using the widest possible interpretation of that phrase, in the most minute detail. Six editors have overseen the publications coverage of significant aircraft and events of manned flight since the first edition appeared in November 1909 as All the World's Airships (Aeroplanes and Dirigibles). This first publication was seen as being ahead of its time but even the skeletal book showed the strength of Fred T Jane's standardised approach to data collection. The first edition even carried a pre-addressed return proforma for aviation pioneers to supply the details of new machines.
Besides listing the different types of aircraft by nationality, the first issues covered aerial societies, journals and flying grounds and cost just 21 shillings (£1.05). Jane himself had a desire to fly and he was nearly killed doing so in 1909 whilst attempting a flight on Dartmoor. His aircraft caught fire, but he merely commented that it would be one less machine to include in his forthcoming work. As with Jane's Fighting Ships, Jane received extensive help from aviation enthusiasts worldwide, including Louis Blériot, A.V. Roe and Prince Heinrich of Prussia.
Jane censored the 1914 issue, which was published just after the outbreak of the First World War, blacking out whole sections describing British equipment and organisation. He noted in it that, for all practical purposes, aircraft have no more to do with peace than submarines. The work's accuracy helped morale by dispelling alarmist rumours about imminent German air raids, showing that the Germans did not possess anything but the smallest fleet of airships. Respect for the accuracy of Jane's All the World's Aircraft transcended political enmities. The Cold War notwithstanding, Soviet authorities supplied Jane's with information. "Mr. Taylor (an Editor for Jane's All the World's Aircraft) did an analysis of the Soviet MIG-29 fighter. Seven years later, a group from Jane's visited the Soviet Union and found that his physical measurements of the plane came within an inch of his earlier projections...And in 1961, the Soviet Union introduced the Tupolev Tu-22 supersonic bomber, and many analysts in the West estimated that it could reach a speed of Mach 2.5. Mr. Taylor, by gauging the air intakes, made a lower estimate — Mach 1.4, which was found to be closer to the actual speed."[clarification needed] Such was the technical reference book's reputation that Argentina even provided details of its aircraft during the Falklands War in 1982.
2009 was the 100th year of Jane's All the World's Aircraft, while 2013 marked the 100th edition - the disparity due to disruptions during the two World Wars.
The 1919 edition was edited by C. G. Grey. By 1938, Leonard Bridgman had joined him as editor, and was the main editor of the 1945 edition. In the 1970s and '80's John W. R. Taylor was the chief editor, with Bridgman as assistant editor. Paul Jackson, the current editor, took over as Editor in 1995.
- Fred T. Jane, founding editor, 1909-1915
- C.G. Grey, 1916-1940
- Leonard Bridgman, 1941-1959
- John W.R. Taylor, 1960-1989
- Mark Lambert, 1990-1994
- Paul Jackson, 1995–present
- Flight, 1909, p. 788 (the term "airship" at the time encompassed also heavier-than-air machines)
- "100 Years of Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1909 - 2009".
- "John Taylor, 77, Top Editor for 'Jane's All the World's Aircraft'". New York Times. Retrieved July 8, 2012.