Naval Air Service (Greece)
The Naval Air Service was the air arm of the Hellenic Navy from 1915 to 1930. The first aviation units in the Greek Armed Forces were formed in June 1912. In the subsequent Balkan Wars, the Hellenic Navy was the first in military history to use aircraft to track down and bomb the enemy fleet; the Naval Air Service was established during the First World War and participated with the Allies in several missions over the Aegean. After participation in the Greco-Turkish War a long period of peace followed during which the Naval Air Service was reorganized and upgraded with the establishment of the State Aircraft Factory, which manufactured various types of aircraft. In 1930 the Naval Air Service was merged with the Hellenic Army Aviation and formed the third branch in the Greek Armed Forces, the Hellenic Air Force; the historical Naval Air Service must not be confused with the Navy Aviation Command, the current aviation branch of the Hellenic Navy. Aviation had been introduced to Greece in February 1912, when Emmanouil Argyropoulos performed a flight, with his owned Nieuport IV.
G aircraft, around Athens. An hour a second flight was carried on with the Prime Minister of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos as passenger. Venizelos, impressed by the potential of air warfare, suggested that Greece should take advance of this new weapon; the following months a French military mission took up the development of Greek aviation by creating a fleet of four Maurice Farman MF.7 airplanes. In June 1912, aviator Dimitrios Kamperos modified one of the Farmans into a hydroplane, giving it the name of the mythical hero Daedalus; when the Balkan Wars broke out in October 1912, these airplanes performed a number of reconnaissance and bombing missions. This mission is regarded as the first naval-air operation in military history and was commented upon in the press, both Greek and international. Meanwhile, the Hellenic Navy, in the process of setting up its air arm, bought a fleet of Sopwith Gunbus seaplanes. At the beginning of 1914 credits were voted for the creation of a naval aerodrome in Eleusina, Attica.
Meanwhile, despite limited funds Aristeidis Moraitinis managed to establish the first naval aviation school and corps. In spring 1915 the establishment of an independent Naval Aviation Department within the Ministry for Naval Affairs and the incorporation of the Greek naval air fleet into the Greek Navy ensured the foundation of the Naval Air Service. Meanwhile, disagreements between King Constantine I and Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos over whether Greece should enter World War I, lead to political instability and the National Schism. Greece joined the Triple Entente at June 1917, however the anti-royalist party of the country under the leadership of Venizelos formed a Movement of National Defence that supported the Allied military operations in the region from December 1916. During the following years, a fighter and bomber squadron, known as "Z" Squadron, was created by Greek personnel under direct Royal Naval Air Service command and carried out operations in the northern Aegean, based at Moudros and Thasos.
Moreover, a joint Army-Navy flight school was established at Moudros. The activity of "Z" Squadron included anti-submarine sweeps, attacks against targets of vital importance, as well as dogfights. Among the most significant missions were the night raids against the Gallipoli-Constantinople peninsula in June 1917, the heavy bombings of enemy positions in the Macedonian front, as well as Izmir, Ottoman Empire. In 1918 the Naval Aviation had four squadrons of Sopwith Camel biplanes and other aircraft, while each one counted ca. 10-12 aircraft. Aristeidis Moraitinis, the commander of the Hellenic Naval Air Service, acquired the nickname the Fearless Aviator by his British colleagues and counted nine victories in total, becoming so Greece's only World War I ace. In one occasion, on 20 January 1918, fought ten enemy aircraft which attacked two British Sopwith Baby seaplanes he was escorting on their way to bomb the Turkish battlecruiser Yavuz Sultan Selim and managed to shoot down three of them. In the following Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922 the Naval Aviation formed one squadron, that together with additional four of the Army Aviation Service participated in operations in Asia Minor.
This squadron consisted of 10 Airco DH.9 bombers and 15 Sopwith Camel F.1 fighters. The Asia Minor Campaign was followed by a long period of peace during which both the Hellenic Army and Naval Aviation Services were reorganized and upgraded. From 1925 new types of aircraft of British and French manufacture were delivered. At 1925, in co-operation with the British Company Blackburn Aircraft, the State Aircraft Factory was set up in Phaleron, near Athens; the factory developed a number of aircraft that were designed by Blackburn Aircraft and built under license, like the two-seat torpedo carrier, T3A Velos and the KEA Chelidon, as well as the Armstrong Whitworth Atlas and the Avro 504. On the other hand, a new Naval Aviation school was established at Tatoi, Attica, in 1926. In 1930 the Air Ministry was founded and the Hellenic Air Force was established as a unified independent branch of the Hellenic Armed Forces. Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos was sworn in as the first Air Minister and assigned the reorganisation of the branch to the veteran aviator Alexandros Zannas.
Aristeidis Moraitinis, commander of
Australian Flying Corps
The Australian Flying Corps was the branch of the Australian Army responsible for operating aircraft during World War I, the forerunner of the Royal Australian Air Force. The AFC was established in 1912. In 1911, at the Imperial Conference held in London, it was decided that aviation should be developed by the various national armed forces of the British Empire. Australia became the first member of the Empire to follow this policy. By the end of 1911, the Army was advertising for mechanics. During 1912, pilots and mechanics were appointed, aircraft were ordered, the site of a flying school was chosen and the first squadron was raised. On 7 March 1913, the government announced formation of the Central Flying School and an "Australian Aviation Corps", although that name was never used. AFC units were formed for service overseas with the Australian Imperial Force during World War I, they operated in the Mesopotamian Campaign. The AFC saw action in Palestine and France. A training wing was established in the United Kingdom.
The corps remained part of the Australian Army until it was disbanded in 1919, after which it was temporarily replaced by the Australian Air Corps. In 1921, that formation was re-established as the independent RAAF. On 30 December 1911, the Commonwealth Gazette announced that the Australian military would seek the "...appointment of two competent Mechanists and Aviators", adding that the government would "accept no liability for accidents". On 3 July 1912, the first "flying machines" were ordered: two Royal Aircraft Factory B. E.2 two seat tractor biplanes and two British-built Deperdussin single seat tractor monoplanes. Soon afterward, two pilots were appointed: Eric Harrison. On 22 September 1912, the Minister of Defence, Senator George Pearce approved formation of an Australian military air arm. Petre rejected a suggestion by Captain Oswald Watt that a Central Flying School be established in Canberra, near the Royal Military College, because it was too high above sea level. Petre instead recommended several sites in Victoria and one of these was chosen, at Point Cook, Victoria, on 22 October 1912.
Two days on 24 October 1912, the government authorised the raising of a single squadron. Upon establishment the squadron would be equipped with four aircraft and manned by "...four officers, seven warrant officers and sergeants, 32 mechanics" who would be drawn from volunteers serving in the Citizen Forces. On 7 March 1913, the government announced formation of the Central Flying School and the "Australian Aviation Corps". According to the Australian War Memorial, the name "Australian Flying Corps does not appear to have been promulgated but seems to have been derived from the term Australian Aviation Corps; the first mention of an Australian Flying Corps appears in Military Orders of 1914." Flying training did not begin though, it was not until 1914, that the first class of pilots were accepted. No. 1 Flight of the Australian Flying Corps was raised in the 3rd Military District on 14 July 1914. In March 1914, a staff officer, Major Edgar Reynolds, was appointed General Staff Officer in charge of a branch covering "intelligence and aviation" within the Army's Department of Military Operations.
Following the outbreak of World War I and the expansion of the Army, aviation became a separate branch commanded by Reynolds. However, during the war, AFC operational units were attached and subordinate to Australian ground forces and/or British ground and air commands. Reynolds' role was administrative rather than one that involved operational command. After the outbreak of war in 1914, the Australian Flying Corps sent one aircraft, a B. E.2, to assist in capturing the German colonies in northern New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. However, German forces in the Pacific surrendered before the plane was unpacked from its shipping crate; the first operational flights did not occur until 27 May 1915, when the Mesopotamian Half Flight, under the command of Captain Henry Petre, was called upon to assist the Indian Army in protecting British oil interests in what is now Iraq. Operating a mixture of aircraft including Caudrons, Maurice Farman Shorthorns, Maurice Farman Longhorns and Martinsydes, the MHF undertook unarmed reconnaissance operations, before undertaking light bombing operations in the year after being attached to No. 30 Squadron RFC.
Losses were high and by December, after flying supplies to the besieged garrison at Kut, the MHF was disbanded. In January 1916, No. 1 Squadron was raised at Point Cook in response to a British request for Australia to raise a full squadron to serve as part of the RFC. Reynolds served as the squadron's commanding officer, prior to its embarkation for overseas service; the squadron, consisting of 12 aircraft organised into three flights, arrived in Egypt in April and was subsequently assigned to the RFC's 5th Wing. In mid-June it began operations against Ottoman Empire and Senussi Arab forces in Egypt and Palestine, it would remain in the Middle East until the end of the war, being reassigned to No. 40 Wing in October 1917, undertaking reconnaissance, ground liaison and close air support operations as the British Empire forces advanced into Syria flying a mixture of aircraft including B. E.2cs, Martinsyde G.100s, B. E.12as and R. E.8s – but standardising on Bristol Fighters. One of the squadron's pilots, Lieutenant Frank McNamara, received the only Victoria Cross awarded to an Australian airman during the war, receiving the award for rescuing a fellow pilot, downed behind Turkish
The Voisin VIII was a French two-seat biplane pusher, built in two versions, one fitted with a 37mm Hotchkiss cannon, the other as a conventional bomber. Problems with the Peugeot engine led to a short operational career with front line units before being superseded by the Voisin X, which aside from the installation of a new Renault engine, was nearly identical to the VIII. With the failure of the 1915 and 1916 bomber contests to produce any usable types to replace the Voisin V, Voisin was asked to produce an interim type pending the development of the next generation of bombers; this was based on the preceding Voisin VII, itself an enlarged V, but was to be powered by a larger engine as the VII was found to be underpowered, would dispense with the nose radiator, reverting to drag-inducing side radiators. Two versions were to be built, a conventional bomber, an aircraft armed with a large single shot 37mm Hotchkiss cannon as was used on the Voisin IV, it was thought the cannon would be used for air-air attacks and was designated a cannon fighter however this was found to be unworkable as both bomber and fighter types were vulnerable to fighters as they were too slow and unmaneuverable but at least one enemy aircraft was destroyed — with a single shot.
As a result, a variety of other roles were attempted with it. Flying artillery, using indirect shots were impossible to aim balloon busting highlighted the type's vulnerability to anti-aircraft artillery fire, but some success was found with used in the ground attack firing directly at the target. Many had their cannons removed while in operational service but at least one was armed with additional machine guns; the LBP with the cannon had the pilot in the rear seat, while in the LAP, the pilot sat in the front seat, while the rear occupant could be equipped with a light machine gun such as a Lewis. On some aircraft, the observer's gun was mounted on a ring, tilted to make movement forward easier against the wind. Unlike with the Voisin IV, installation of the cannon did not require that the top wing be staggered forward to maintain fore-aft balance. Like the previous Voisins going back to the Voisin III, the Voisin VIII had a steel tube structure to provide adequate strength. Unusually for the period, because it had no skid to drag it to a stop, it was equipped with drum brakes.
These were fitted to the rear wheels. Like the Voisin VII, the VIII was fitted with two large strut mounted teardrop fuel tanks that could be jettisoned in the event of a fire. Due to problems with exhaust ventilation on the VII, the VIII and types were fitted with tall individual exhaust stacks projecting above the top wing. By the start of 1917, the Voisin VIII made up the bulk of the Aviation Militaire's night bombing force having replaced the preceding Voisin V's and equipped two Groupes de Bombardment before the unreliability of their engines resulted in them being replaced by French-built Sopwith 1½ Strutters and the higher powered Voisin Xs, withdrawn to secondary units, which continued to operate them until the end of the war; the l'Aéronavale/Aviation Maritime operated 20 Voisin VIIIs. Based on the experiences of some Americans serving with these aircraft, the United States' American Expeditionary Force planned to field a single night bomber unit equipped with the Voisin VIII, however only a training unit was formed before the war ended.
The Royal Naval Air Service purchased two examples for trials work, one fitted with the cannon, one of the bomber types, however no further examples were purchased. Voisin VIII220 hp Peugeot 8Aa Voisin LAP - factory designation for VIII night bomber Voisin LBP - factory designation for VIII armed with 37 mm cannonVoisin IXlightened one-off prototype with 160 hp Renault 8Gb for reconnaissance, with radiator in rounded nose Voisin LC - factory designation for IXVoisin Xre-engined VIII with 280 hp Renault 12Fe Voisin LAR - factory designation for X night bomber Voisin LBR - factory designation for X armed with 37 mm cannonVoisin XIVariant of X with 350 hp Panhard 12Bc and minor changes to proportions but only around 10 built FranceAéronautique Militaire Ecole Militaire d'Avord VB.101 V.481/551 operated alongside Letord 4 & 5 G.482 operated alongside Caudron G.6 aircraft VB.483 V.484 Let.485 operated alongside Letord 4 aircraft V.486 V.487 operated alongside Letord 4 & 5 aircraft aircraft V.491 operated alongside Letord 4 aircraft GB 1 VB.110 VB.114 first unit to receive type GB 3 VB.107 VB.108 VB.109 VB.113 l'Aéronavale/Aviation Maritime CAM de Dunkerque United KingdomRoyal Naval Air Service United StatesAmerican Expeditionary Force National Air and Space Museum has a Voisin VIII/LAP bomber on display Musée de l'air et de l'espace has a fuselage of a Voisin X/LBR equipped with a cannon.
Data from French Aircraft of the First World WarGeneral characteristics Crew: 2 Length: 10.35 m Wingspan: 18.00 m Height: 3.95 m Wing area: 61.14 m2 Empty weight: 1,310 kg Max takeoff weight: 1,860 kg Powerplant: 1 × Peugeot 8Aa V-8 water-cooled pusher piston engine, 160 kW Propellers: 2-bladed Voisin fixed-pitch pusher propeller, 3.52 m diameter Performance Maximum speed: 118 km/h @ 2,000 m Range: 350 km Endurance: 4 hours Service ceiling: 4,300 m Time to altitude: 17 mins to 2,000 m Armament LAP equipped with one machine gun and 180 kg of bombs. LBP equipped with a 37 mm Hotchkiss cannon Aircraft of comparable role and era Breguet Bre.12 Farman F.40 Royal Aircraft Factory FE.2 Savoia-Pomilio SP.3 Related l
Imperial Russian Air Service
The Imperial Russian Air Service was an air force founded in 1912 for Imperial Russia. The Air Service operated for 5 years, it only saw combat in World War I before being reorganized and renamed in 1917 following the creation of Soviet Russia. It formed what would become the Soviet Air Forces; the origins of Russian aviation go back to theoretical projects of the 1880s by pioneer Russian scientists such as Nikolai Kibalchich and Alexander Mozhaysky. During the 1890s aviation innovation was further advanced by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. In 1902-1903 during military maneuvers in the Kiev Military District, the Imperial Russian Army used several aerostats for reconnaissance and coordination of artillery fire; the Aeronautical company was under the command of Colonel A. M. Kovanko. In 1904 Nikolai Zhukovsky established the world's first Aerodynamic Institute in Kuchino near Moscow. One aeronautical battalion with 4 aerostats took part in the Russo-Japanese War. In 1908, the Russian Aeroclub was established.
In 1910, the Imperial Russian Army sent several officers to France for training as pilots. In the same year the Imperial Russian Army purchased a number of French and British aeroplanes and began training its first military pilots; the first aviation school was opened in the summer of 1910 in Gatchina the second aviation school was opened in the autumn of 1910 in Sevastopol Also, in 1910 one biplane was built in Saint Petersburg, intended to be used by the Army as a reconnaissance aircraft, but the plane lost in a competition with the French "Farman" in 1911, never entered serviceOn 12 August 1912 the Imperial Russian Air Service part of the Engineer Corps, became a separate branch of the army. During the First Balkan War there was a Russian air unit in the Bulgarian army, composed of 10 civil volunteers and commanded by S. SchetininIn 1913 Igor Sikorsky built the first four-engine biplane, the Russky Vityaz, his famous bomber aircraft, the Ilya Muromets. In the same year Dmitry Grigorovich built several "M-type" flying boats for the Imperial Russian Navy.
In 1914 Polish aviator Jan Nagórski conducted the first flights in the Arctic looking for the lost expedition of polar explorer Georgy Sedov. At the beginning of World War I, Russia's air service was second only to that of France, although the bulk of its aircraft were too outdated to be of much use. After the war began, aviators were rearmed with 7.63mm Mauser C96, because German semi-automatic pistols were more effective weapons than standard 7.62mm Nagant revolvers. At least a few aviators were armed with carbinesInitially, Russia used aviation only for reconnaissance and coordination of artillery fire. Several aeroplanes were armed with steel flechettes to attack ground targets. Aeroplanes were armed with air-dropped bombs. On 8 September 1914, the Russian pilot Pyotr Nesterov performed the first aerial ramming aircraft attack in the history of aviation Later, Lt. Vyacheslav Tkachov became the first Russian pilot who shot down an enemy aircraft with a handgun, he shot the enemy pilot. In December 1914 a squadron of 10 Ilya Muromets bombers was formed and used against the German and Austro-Hungarian armies.17 January 1915 - The Ministry of War of the Russian Empire issued an order to arm aeroplanes with 7.62mm Madsen light machine guns and 7.71mm Lewis light machine gunsIn March 1915 naval aviation was established.
The Imperial Russian Navy received six seaplanes. The naval aviation section was not merged into the IRAS, it became a part of Black Sea FleetOn 31 March 1915 the Russian pilot Alexander Kazakov performed the second ramming attack, using a Morane-Saulnier G as his piloted projectile. Summer 1915 - petrol bombs were used by pilots to attack ground targetsIn 1915 the Imperial Russian Air Service became a separate branch of the army directly under the command of the Stavka. In 1916 the size and force of naval aviation was increased, the Black Sea Fleet had two seaplane carriers and fourteen M-9 seaplanesDuring World War I, 269 Russian aviators were awarded the St. George military decorations, 5 aviators were awarded the Chevalier's National Order of the Legion of Honour, 2 aviators were awarded the Military Cross, 2 aviators were awarded the Order of the White Eagle and many others were awarded medals. 26 aviators became flying aces of Russian Empire. The most successful Russian flying ace and fighter pilot was Alexander Kazakov, who shot down 20 enemy aeroplanes.
However, the war was not going well for Russia and following significant setbacks on the Eastern front, the economic collapse in the rear, military aircraft production fell far behind Russia's rival Germany. After the February Revolution of 1917 the Imperial Russian Air Service was reformed. After the October Revolution of 1917 Russian Air Service was dissolved. More than 1300 aeroplanes became Peasants' Air Fleet. More than two-thirds of these aeroplanes were foreign-made. More than 50% of all aeroplanes were "Nieuports", more than 15% of all ae
United States Army Air Service
The United States Army Air Service was the aerial warfare service of the United States between 1918 and 1926 and a forerunner of the United States Air Force. It was established as an independent but temporary branch of the U. S. War Department during World War I by two executive orders of President Woodrow Wilson: on May 24, 1918, replacing the Aviation Section, Signal Corps as the nation's air force, its life was extended for another year in July 1919, during which time Congress passed the legislation necessary to make it a permanent establishment. The National Defense Act of 1920 assigned the Air Service the status of "combatant arm of the line" of the United States Army with a major general in command. In France, the Air Service of the American Expeditionary Force, a separate entity under commanding General John J. Pershing that conducted the combat operations of U. S. military aviation, began field service in the spring of 1918. By the end of the war, the Air Service used 45 squadrons to cover 137 kilometers of front from Pont-à-Mousson to Sedan.
71 pursuit pilots were credited with shooting down five or more German aircraft while in American service. Overall the Air Service destroyed 76 balloons in combat. 17 balloon companies operated at the front, making 1,642 combat ascensions. 289 airplanes and 48 balloons were lost in battle. The Air Service was the first form of the air force to have an independent organizational structure and identity. Although officers concurrently held rank in various branches, after May 1918 their branch designation in official correspondence while on aviation assignment changed from "ASSC" to "AS, USA". After July 1, 1920, its personnel became members of the Air Service branch, receiving new commissions. During the war its responsibilities and functions were split between two coordinate agencies, the Division of Military Aeronautics and the Bureau of Aircraft Production, each reporting directly to the Secretary of War, creating a dual authority over military aviation that caused unity of command difficulties.
The seven-year history of the post-war Air Service was marked by a prolonged debate between adherents of airpower and the supporters of the traditional military services about the value of an independent Air Force. Airmen such as Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell supported the concept; the Army's senior leadership from World War I, the United States Navy, the majority of the nation's political leadership favored integration of all military aviation into the Army and Navy. Aided by a wave of pacifism following the war that drastically cut military budgets, opponents of an independent air force prevailed; the Air Service was renamed the Army Air Corps in 1926 as a compromise in the continuing struggle. Although war in Europe prompted Congress to vastly increase the appropriations for the Aviation Section in 1916, it tabled a bill proposing an aviation department incorporating all aspects of military aviation; the declaration of war against Germany on April 6, 1917, putting the United States in World War I, came too to solve emerging engineering and production problems.
The reorganization of the Aviation Section had been inadequate in resolving problems in training, leaving the United States unprepared to fight an air war in Europe. The Aviation Section consisted of 131 officers, 1087 enlisted men, 280 airplanes; the administration of President Woodrow Wilson created an advisory Aircraft Production Board in May 1917, consisting of members of the Army and industry, to study the Europeans' experience in aircraft production and the standardization of aircraft parts. The Board dispatched Major Raynal C. Bolling, a lawyer and military aviation pioneer, together with a commission of over 100 members, to Europe in the summer of 1917 to determine American aircraft needs, recommend priorities for acquisition and production, negotiate prices and royalties. Congress passed a series of legislation in the next three months that appropriated huge sums for development of military aviation, including the largest single appropriation for a single purpose to that time, $640 million in the Aviation Act, passed July 24, 1917.
By the time the bill passed, the term Air Service was in widespread if unofficial usage to collectively describe all aspects of Army aviation. Although it considered creation of a separate aviation department to act as the centralized authority for decision-making, both the War and the Navy Departments opposed it, on October 1, 1917, Congress instead legalized the existence of the APB and changed its name to the "Aircraft Board", transferring its functions from the Council of National Defense to the secretaries of War and the Navy. So, the Aircraft Board in practice had little control over procurement contracts and functioned as an information provider between industrial and military entities. Nor did the "Equipment Division" of the Signal Corps exercise such control. Established by the Office of the Chief Signal Officer as one of the operating components of the Aviation Section, its task was to unify and coordinate the various agencies involved but its head was a commissioned former member of the APB who did nothing to create any effective coordination.
Moreover, the wood and fabric airframe designs of World War I did not lend themselves to being made with the mass production methods of the automotive industry, which
Royal Naval Air Service
The Royal Naval Air Service was the air arm of the Royal Navy, under the direction of the Admiralty's Air Department, existed formally from 1 July 1914 to 1 April 1918, when it was merged with the British Army's Royal Flying Corps to form the Royal Air Force, the world's first independent air force. In 1908, the British Government recognised the military potential of aircraft; the Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith, approved the formation of an "Advisory Committee for Aeronautics" and an "Aerial Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence". Both committees were composed of army officers and Royal Navy officers. On 21 July 1908 Captain Reginald Bacon, a member of the Aerial Navigation sub-committee, submitted to the First Sea Lord Sir John Fisher that a rigid airship based on the German Zeppelin be designed and constructed by the firm of Vickers. After much discussion on the Committee of Imperial Defence the suggestion was approved on 7 May 1909; the airship, named Mayfly, never flew and broke in half on 24 September 1911.
The First Sea Lord, Sir Arthur Wilson, recommended that rigid airship construction be abandoned. On 21 June 1910, Lt. George Cyril Colmore became the first qualified pilot in the Royal Navy. After completing training, which Colmore paid for out of his own pocket, he was issued with Royal Aero Club Certificate Number 15. In November 1910, the Royal Aero Club, thanks to one of its members, Francis McClean, offered the Royal Navy two aircraft with which to train its first pilots; the Club offered its members as instructors and the use of its airfield at Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey. The Admiralty accepted and on 6 December the Commander-in-Chief, The Nore promulgated the scheme to the officers under his jurisdiction and requested that applicants be unmarried and able to pay the membership fees of the Royal Aero Club; the airfield became Eastchurch. Two hundred applications were received, four were accepted: Lieutenant C. R. Samson, Lieutenant A. M. Longmore, Lieutenant A. Gregory and Captain E. L. Gerrard, RMLI.
After prolonged discussion on the Committee of Imperial Defence, the Royal Flying Corps was constituted by Royal Warrant on 13 April 1912. It absorbed the nascent naval air detachment and the Air Battalion of the Royal Engineers, it consisted of two wings with the Military Wing making up the Army element and Naval Wing, under Commander C. R. Samson. A Central Flying School staffed by officers and men of both the navy and the army was created at Upavon for the pilot training of both wings, opened on 19 June 1912 under the command of Captain Godfrey Paine, a naval officer; the Naval Wing, by the terms of its inception was permitted to carry out experimentation at its flying school at Eastchurch. The Royal Flying Corps, although formed of two separate branches, allowed for direct entry to either branch through a joint Special Reserve of Officers, although soon the Navy inducted new entries into the Royal Naval Reserve. In the summer of 1912, in recognition of the air branch's expansion, Captain Murray Sueter was appointed Director of the newly formed Air Department at the Admiralty.
Sueter's remit as outlined in September 1912 stated that he was responsible to the Admiralty for "all matters connected with the Naval Air Service."In the same month as the Air Department was set up, four naval seaplanes participated in Army Manoeuvres. In 1913 a seaplane base on the Isle of Grain and an airship base at Kingsnorth were approved for construction; the same year provision was made in the naval estimates for eight airfields to be constructed, for the first time aircraft participated in manoeuvres with the Royal Navy, using the converted cruiser Hermes as a seaplane carrier. On 16 April ten officers of the Navy Service graduated from the Central Flying School; as of 7 June 44 officers and 105 other ranks had been trained at the Central Flying School and at Eastchurch, 35 officers and men had been trained in airship work. Three non-rigid airships built for the army, the Willows, Astra-Torres and the Parseval were taken over by the navy. On 1 July 1914, the Admiralty made the Royal Naval Air Service, forming the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps, part of the Military Branch of the Royal Navy.
By the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the RNAS had 93 aircraft, six airships, two balloons and 727 personnel. The Navy maintained twelve airship stations around the coast of Britain from Longside, Aberdeenshire in the northeast to Anglesey in the west. On 1 August 1915 the Royal Naval Air Service came under the control of the Royal Navy. In addition to seaplanes, carrier-borne aircraft, other aircraft with a legitimate "naval" application the RNAS maintained several crack fighter squadrons on the Western Front, as well as allocating scarce resources to an independent strategic bombing force at a time when such operations were speculative. Inter-service rivalry affected aircraft procurement. Urgently required Sopwith 1½ Strutter two-seaters had to be transferred from the planned RNAS strategic bombing force to RFC squadrons on the Western Front because the Sopwith firm were contracted to supply the RNAS exclusively; this situation continued, although most of Sopwith's post-1915 products were not designed as naval aircraft.
Thus RNAS fighter squadrons obtained Sopwith Pup fighters months before the RFC, replaced these first with Sopwith Triplanes and Camels while the hard-pressed RFC squadrons soldiered on with their obsolescent Pups. On 23 June 1917, after the Second Battle of Gaza, RNAS aircraft attacked Tulkarm in the Judean Hills. On 1 April 1918, the RNAS was merged with the RFC to form the Royal Air Force. At the time of the merger, the Navy's air service had 55,066 officers and men, 2,949 aircraft, 103
Salmson water-cooled aero-engines
The Salmson water-cooled aero-engines, produced in France by Société des Moteurs Salmson from 1908 until 1920, were a series of pioneering aero-engines: unusually combining water-cooling with the radial arrangement of their cylinders. Henri Salmson, a manufacturer of water pumps, was engaged by Georges Marius Henri-Georges Canton and Pierre Unné, a pair of Swiss engineers, to produce engines to their design, their initial efforts were on barrel engines, but these failed to meet expectations due to low reliability and high fuel consumption caused by internal friction. A new 7-cylinder water-cooled radial design was developed by Canton and Unné; the range was expanded to produce 9-cylinder models, two-row 14-cylinder and 18-cylinder engines. By 1912 the Salmson A9 was producing around 120 brake horsepower; the engines were produced at Salmson's factory at Billancourt, expanded during the First World War, a second factory was opened at Villeurbanne. The Salmson- series of water-cooled engines were built by licensees in Russia and in Great Britain at the Dudbridge Iron Works Limited at Stroud in Gloucestershire between 1914 and 1918.
Data from:LA SOCIETE DES MOTEURS SALMSON Aircraft powered by Salmson water-cooled engines included: Salmson 9A Salmson-Moineau S. M.1 Salmson-Moineau S. M.2Salmson 9B Short S.74 Short type 135 Short type 830Salmson 9CFarman 60Salmson 9MBlackburn type L Bréguet U2 Breguet 14 prototype Voisin LA 3Salmson 9P Farman HF.27 Voisin LA 5Salmson 9R Anatra DS Lebed 12Salmson 9Z Besson H-5 Caudron C.23 Farman HF.30 Farman 60 Hanriot HD.3 Hanriot H.26 Latécoère 3 Salmson 2 Berline Salmson 2A2 Vickers Vimy prototype Voisin TriplaneSalmson 2M7 Kennedy Giant Sopwith type C Sopwith Bat Boat II Short type 166 Sopwith type 860 Wight NavyplaneSalmson 18CmHanriot H.25 Some sources named the radial versions as Salmson which refers to the Swiss engineers which engaged Salmson to build engines to their designs. Data from Type: 9-cyl radial engine Bore: 125 mm Stroke: 170 mm Displacement: 18.7 l Designer: Georges Marius Henri-Georges Canton and Pierre Unné Cooling system: Water with radiators Power output: 186.4 kW at 1400rpm Salmson air-cooled aero-engines List of aircraft engines La société des moteurs Salmson at Hydro-Retro.
Net Salmson Z-9 at the Aircraft Engine Historical Society Angelucci, Enzo. The Rand McNally encyclopedia of military aircraft, 1914-1980; the Military Press. P. 103. ISBN 0-517-41021 4. Hirschauer, Louis. L'Année Aéronautique: 1920-1921. Paris: Dunod. P. 131