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The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was the air arm of the British Army before and during the First World War until it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service on 1 April 1918 to form the Royal Air Force. During the early part of the war, the RFC supported the British Army by artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance. This work gradually led RFC pilots into aerial battles with German pilots and later in the war included the strafing of enemy infantry and emplacements, the bombing of German military airfields and later the strategic bombing of German industrial and transport facilities.
The Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) was a British research establishment, known by several different names during its history, that eventually came under the aegis of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), before finally losing its identity in mergers with other institutions.
The Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) was the air arm of the Royal Navy, under the direction of the Admiralty's Air Department, and 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 (RAF), the world's first independent air force.
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1912:
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1914.
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1915:
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1916:
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1917.
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1918:
World War I was the first major conflict involving the large-scale use of aircraft. Tethered observation balloons had already been employed in several wars, and would be used extensively for artillery spotting. Germany employed Zeppelins for reconnaissance over the North Sea and Baltic and also for strategic bombing raids over Britain and the Eastern Front.
The Air Department of the British Admiralty was established prior to World War I by Winston Churchill to administer the Royal Naval Air Service.
Naval aviation is the application of military air power by navies, whether from warships that embark aircraft, or land bases.
This is a list of aviation-related events during the 19th century :
The Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte —known before October 1916 as Fliegertruppen —was the air arm of the Imperial German Army. In English-language sources it is usually referred to as the Imperial German Air Service, although that is not a literal translation of either name. German naval aviators of the Marine-Fliegerabteilung were an integral part of the Imperial German Navy. Both military branches operated aeroplanes, observation balloons and airships.
A balloon carrier or balloon tender was a ship equipped with a balloon, usually tied to the ship by a rope or cable, and usually used for observation. During the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century, these ships were built to have the furthest possible view of the surrounding waters. After several experiments, the type became formalized in the early 1900s, but was soon to be superseded by the development of seaplane carriers and regular aircraft carriers at the beginning of World War I.
Air Commodore Edward Maitland Maitland, was an early military aviator who served in the Air Battalion of the Royal Engineers, the Royal Flying Corps, the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Air Force. He was a noted pioneer of lighter-than-air aviation.
The Tondern raid or Operation F.7, was a British bombing raid mounted by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force against the Imperial German Navy airship base at Tønder, Denmark, then a part of Germany. The airships were used for the strategic bombing of Britain. It was the first attack in history by aircraft from an aircraft carrier. On 19 July 1918, seven Sopwith Camels took off from the converted battlecruiser HMS Furious. For the loss of one man and several aircraft, the British destroyed Zeppelins L 54, L 60 and a captive balloon.
The following timeline of British military aviation covers the military aviation activities of the British Armed Forces from its origins in the 19th century to the present day:
The Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare was formed as part of the Regio Esercito on 7 January 1915, incorporating the Aviators Flights Battalion (airplanes), the Specialists Battalion (airships) and the Ballonists Battalion. Prior to World War I, Italy had pioneered military aviation in the Italo-Turkish War during 1911–1912. Its army also contained one of the world's foremost theorists about the future of military aviation, Giulio Douhet; Douhet also had a practical side, as he was largely responsible for the development of Italy's Caproni bombers starting in 1913. Italy also had the advantage of a delayed entry into World War I, not starting the fight until 24 May 1915, but took no advantage of it so far as aviation was concerned.