chapter  1
39 Pages

The dawn of the era of flight and the formation of the RFC/RNAS, from its inception until the end of 1915

ByDennis Haslop

Chapter One describes how a new planning committee, designed to help the Prime Minister of the day solve the problems inherent in strategic planning, replaced a defunct one. Early aviation efforts and findings of two European wars are discussed where air power was used for the first time, which led to government action being taken to create the Military Air Service. The research found that public and parliamentary concerns, as well as external pressures on naval aviation progress, helped to shape and modify the Admiralty and its new air organization during a period of expansion. The initial RFC (Royal Flying Corps) consisted of Military and Naval Wings. The formation of a controlling air committee, and its demise, is described. The Admiralty and the War Office were never able to reconcile their policy differences, which ultimately resulted in a call to consider tighter policy control over the two wings. The separation of the Naval Wing from the RFC to become the Royal Naval Air Service is discussed. Throughout 1915, the system of divided control of the two separate wings was the cause of further inter-service rivalry and discord.