British Military Aviation in 1927

A tri-service ‘Shanghai Defence Force’ is hurriedly despatched from the
United Kingdom to protect European nationals and their property in Shanghai
from Chinese communist forces.

The air component of the force includes Fleet Air Arm Flights aboard
the carriers HMS Hermes (already on the China Station) and Argus. Subsequently,
Royal Air Force China Command at Hong Kong is created to administer Royal
Air Force units in the theatre, with Group Captain E.D.M. Robertson as

1 January
The Imperial Defence College (IDC) is opened. The commandant of the College
is selected from each fighting Services in turn, with Air Marshal Sir
Robert Brooke-Popham the first from the Royal Air Force (19 January 1931).

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard, is promoted
to Marshal of the Royal Air Force.

27 March
Royal Air Force’s first all-metal fighter, the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin
IIIA, enters service with No.41 Squadron.

14 April
Six Fairey IIIDs of No.441 Flight, commanded by Captain G.E. Wildman-Lushington
of the Royal Marines, are stationed at the only available landing ground
within Shanghai, the recreation ground.

20 May
A modified Hawker Horsley torpedo bomber, flown by Flight Lieutenants
C.R. Carr & L.E.M. Gillman of the Royal Air Force depart from RAF
Cranwell in an attempt to establish a new distance record.

After a flight of some 34 hours 45 minutes Carr and Gillman ditch in
the Persian Gulf, having flown a distance of 3,400 miles. However, their
attempt is overshadowed by Charles Lindburgh’s successful solo non-stop
crossing of the Atlantic. Lindburgh lands at Le Bourget on 21 May, having
flown a distance of 3,590 miles.

30 May
No.2 Squadron Royal Air Force (Bristol F2Bs) arrives in Shanghai to reinforce
Royal Air Force China Command.

Following the easing of tension at Shanghai, Royal Air Force China Command
is disbanded and No.2 Squadron departs for the United Kingdom, arriving
during October.

26 September
A Supermarine S5 seaplane flown by Flight Lieutenant S.N. Webster of the
Royal Air Force wins the Schneider Trophy competition, with an average
speed of 281mph, at a race held at Venice. This aircraft also sets a 100
kilometre closed circuit record of 283mph.

17 October
Four Supermarine Southampton flying boats of the Royal Air Force Far East
Flight under the command of Group Captain H.M. Cave-Brown-Cave leave Plymouth
for a 27,000 mile cruise to Egypt, India, Australia, Japan & Singapore.
The Flight reachs Singapore on 10 December 1928.

November- May 1928
Following the failure of an agreement between the Iraq and Najd Governments,
‘Akforce’, Royal Air Force armoured car sections, supported by No.55 and
No.84 Squadrons, begin action against Akhwan tribesmen in Southern Iraq
and Kuwait. As a result, Ibn Sa’ud gives a written undertaking that he
will restrain his tribes from further raiding.