The Royal Air Force has defended Britain's skies and those of her Empire and allies for most of this century, following the tradition established by its predecessors, the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. Spawned from both the British Army and the Royal Navy, the R.A.F. fought hard to maintain its independence after the successes of the First World War. It was not until the Second World War, however, that the R.A.F. was able to show its true worth. While Fighter Command defended Britain from the Luftwaffe, Bomber Command took the fight across the Channel into the war-torn skies over Germany. And while Coastal Command patrolled the vital sea lanes of the Atlantic, Transport Command flew to all corners of the world supplying and reinforcing hard-presses ground forces. After the war the jet age brought a whole new series of discipines for the RAF. Going ever higher, faster and further, the RAF had to contend with the constant threat from the Soviet Union, employing such great aircraft as the Vulcan, the Hunter and the Lightning. In the modern age the RAF can call on some of the best technology - VSTOL Harriers, Tornado fighters and bombers, Jaguar, Nimrod and Hercules. And the Eurofighter Typhoon will take the RAF into the 21st century.