History of the RAF gallery

This gallery offers a timeline of that history, presented in the context of world aviation and significant socio/economic and historical events.

The Royal Air Force has a long and distinguished history. Founded in April 1918 by Lord Trenchard who instigated the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps with the Royal Naval Air Service, it is this nation's youngest military service but the oldest independent air force in the world.

RAF Founder: Lord Trenchard

Lord Trenchard was born in 1873 in Taunton and his name became synonymous with the Royal Air Force and the offensive strategic use of air power. After service with the Army he learned to fly at the age of 39 and was granted a pilot's licence after a grand total of one hour and fourteen minutes in the air!