100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Naval Wing Of The Royal Flying Corps Approved

The Wright Brothers flew their first powered flight in 1903 but Flight really didn’t gain notice until 1908. The Wright brothers had tried to sell their plane to the world’s governments including England but no military wanted to commit to any one aeroplane that might be made obsolete by the next innovation.

The US has already established a flying component to their military, the Aeronautical Division of the US Signal Corps in 1907. The US Army had a flying school in College Park, Maryland with pilots trained by Wilbur Wright in 1909 and the US Navy trained pilots under aviator Glenn Curtiss at his flying school at North Island, San Diego, California in 1910.

In England the Committee of Imperial Defence established a sub-committee to examine the question of military aviation in November 1911. In February 1912 the sub-committee reported its findings which recommended that a flying corps be formed and that it consist of a naval wing, a military wing, a central flying school and an aircraft factory. In April 1912 the recommendations of the committee were accepted King George V signed a royal warrant establishing the Royal Flying Corps.

On July 26, 1912 the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps was approved with Commander C R Samson at the head. The Royal Navy has different priorities to that of the Army and wishes greater control over its aircraft. Both wings will train at a combined Central Flying School maintained by the War Department.

First course of the Royal Flying Corps Central Flying School – 1912
(notice the mix of Army and Navy uniforms)

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