- Fine art
- Medals & uniforms
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- Library collection
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- RAF Historical Society Journals
- Acquisitions and Disposals
- The Royal Air Force Museum At Home
- Battle of Britain Groundcrew 7 to 13 September
- Battle of Britain Aircrew 31 Aug to 6 Sep
- Our Lockdown Highlights
- Conservation Week 15 to 21 June
- Spitfire Week 8 to 12 June
- Spitfire Creations Weekend
- D-Day76 1 to 5 June
- Lucky Mascots Weekend
- Dunkirk Week 25 to 29 May
- Competition Weekend Part 2
- Hidden Heroes 18 to 22 May
- Competition Weekend Part 1
- Bomber Week 11 to 15 May
- Create Your Own Museum Weekend
- Countdown to VE Day 75
- Jet Week 27 April to 1 May
- Jet Weekend
- Early Aviators Week 20 – 24 April
- Early Aviators Weekend
- Research enquiries
- Visit our reading room
- Online exhibitions
- Never Forgotten: The RAF in the Far East
- Pilots of the Caribbean
- Czechoslovak Squadrons in RAF
- Pre-War Czechoslovakia
- Pre-War Czechoslovakia (Czech)
- Escape to Poland
- Escape to Poland (Czech)
- Departure Abroad – via the USSR and France
- Departure Abroad – via the USSR and France (Czech)
- Leaving for exile – the so-called southern route and the Middle East
- Leaving for exile – the so-called southern route and the Middle East (Czech)
- 68 Night Fighter Squadron
- 68 Night Fighter Squadron (Czech)
- 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron
- 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron (Czech)
- 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron
- 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron (Czech)
- Czechoslovak Women in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF)
- Czechoslovak Women in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) (Czech)
- Lidice tragedy
- Lidice tragedy (Czech)
- Osudy- Life stories
- Osudy- Life stories (Czech)
- Osudy- Life stories 2
- Osudy- Life stories 2 (Czech)
- Osudy – Life stories 3
- Osudy- Life stories 3 (Czech)
- Return to a Liberated Country
- Return to a Liberated Country (Czech)
- Victims of the communist regime
- Victims of the communist regime (Czech)
- Rehabilitation and Commemoration of Former RAF Airmen
- Rehabilitation and Commemoration of Former RAF Airmen( Czech)
- Living History Group
- Living History Group (Czech)
- Air Transport Auxiliary
- Civil flyers
- On the verge of war
- Sir Gerard d’Erlanger
- A lack of work
- Birth of the ATA
- Stewart Keith-Jopp
- First female pilot
- Pauline Gower
- The first eight women
- ATA expansion
- Legion of the air
- Annette Mahon
- The Battle of France
- The Battle of Britain
- Women fly fighter aircraft
- Anything to anywhere
- The taxi service
- John Gulson
- Alison King
- The support network
- Women fly bombers
- Joan Hughes
- Return to France
- The reach of the ATA
- The death of a service
- A final act of progress
- ATA closure
- Sir Alan Cobham ; A Life of a Pioneering Aviator
- An Enduring Relationship : A History of Friendship between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Air Force of Oman
- 617 Squadron and the Dams Raid
- Model Dams Projects
- Barnes Wallis’ Papers
- Wing Commander Winterbotham’s Letter
- Group Captain Conrad Verity’s Memoirs
- Lancaster Modifications
- Bouncing Bomb Diagram
- Bouncing Bomb Tests
- Barnes Wallis’ Pass
- Designing the UPKEEP Mine
- Guy Gibson’s Log Book
- Spotlights – Low Altitude Flying Modification
- Target Map and Photo of the Eder Dam
- Target Photos of the Ruhr Dams
- Flight Lieutenant H.B. ‘Mick’ Martin’s Log Book
- Sergeant Charles Brennan’s Papers
- Aircraftwoman Morfydd Gronland’s Memoir
- Reconnaissance Photos of the Damaged Dams
- Letter from Air Commodore S.O. Bufton
- Herr Clemens Mols’ Memoir
- Casualties of the Dams Raid
- Media Reports
- Messages of Congratulation
- Signed Menu from A.V. Roe Celebratory Dinner
- Dambusters Podcasts
- Royal Flying Corps Centenary
- The Polish Air Force in WWII
- Taking Flight
- History of the Battle of Britain
- From world power to colonial policeman
- Churchill’s Warnings
- Expansion at last
- The Rise of the Nazi Party
- The Rise of the Luftwaffe
- Young Nazis
- Poland – The Catalyst
- Phoney Air War in France
- The Battle of France
- The Home Front
- Air Raid Shelter Protection
- Operation Sealion
- British Defences
- Bomber Command
- Other Commands
- The New Tactics
- RADAR – The Battle Winner?
- How RADAR Works
- Introduction to the Phases of the Battle of Britain
- The Battle of Britain Phase One
- The Battle of Britain Phase Two
- The Battle of Britain Phase Three
- The Battle of Britain Phase Four
- The Battle of Britain Phase Five
- The Hardest Day
- The Blitz
- The Blitz – The Hardest Night
- Subordinate German Commanders
- Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe
- Corpo Aero Italiano
- The Few
- Battle of the Nations
- Women of Britain
- Subordinate RAF Commanders
- Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command
- Douglas Bader: Fighter, Pilot
- Women of the Air Force
- Commandant Dame Helen Gwynne-Vaughan
- Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) 1918 – 1920
- Air Chief Commandant Dame Katherine Trefusis-Forbes
- Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) 1939 – 1949
- All the same buttons
- Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) 1949 – 1994
- WRAF and WAAF Recruitment Posters
- Air Commandant Dame Felicity Peake
- Women in the RAF Today
- Listen to Podcasts
- Your Comments and Stories
- Lest We Forget
- Remembrance Day
- The First World War (1914 – 1918)
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- The Cenotaph
- War Memorials
- The Royal British Legion
- The Second World War (1939 – 1945)
- The Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service 1944 – 1952
- St. Clement Danes – The Central Church of the Royal Air Force
- The Royal Air Force Today
- Support Organisations
- Remembrance Podcasts
- Americans in the Royal Air Force
- Archive exhibitions
- Alex Henshaw: Flying Legend, A Life in Art
- Freedom & Liberty
- Wonderful Amy!
- De Havilland – The Man and the Company
- Kings, Queens & Flying Machines
- Photographs of ‘Kings, Queens & Flying Machines’
- The Hendon Pageants
- Prince Albert
- No flying solo for Prince Albert
- de Havilland Moth
- The Royal Flight Vickers Viastra
- Three Kings
- The Royal Family visiting Mildenhall
- The King’s Flight
- King George V prepares for a review
- King George VI visiting Battle squadrons
- The formation of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force
- HM Queen Elizabeth with Princess Elizabeth
- King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Bentley Priory
- The Armed King’s flight
- Duke of Gloucester visiting No. 467 Squadron
- HM King George VI with family
- The first post-war King’s flight
- The Vickers Viking
- Prince Phillip’s training
- The de Havilland Heron
- HM Queen Elizabeth II’s first Royal Review
- Westland Whirlwind HCC12
- Hawker Siddeley Andover
- Long haul flights
- RAF Comet
- Prince Charles in Chipmunk
- The Queen’s Colour Squadron
- Worth a Thousand Words – Air Diagrams
- Me 210
- Ju 87D
- Ju 88
- Layout of kit and method of wearing equipment
- Aids to homing
- Layout of WAAF kit
- Fog dispersal
- Emergency landing service
- Ju 188
- He 177
- Beware of the Hun in the sun
- Pilot’s controls – Stirling I
- Emergency Equipment & Exits – Lancaster I
- …And all this – because of you
- 5 men in a dinghy
- I thought YOU had the dinghy pack!
- Watch that prop…what prop?
- Dammit, chaps – who remembered to bring this thing anyway?
- Seconds Count
- Keep your aircraft to the tarmac
- Prevention of tyre and brake accident
- Danger – watch for tyre creep
- Lancaster I II III standard & Y types dinghy drill
- Jungle survival: Edible tropical plants
- DP/R and D.P.L. functioning (single arming)
- Keep your transparent panels clean (turrets)
- Train how to fit into the post war picture
- BABS Mk1C Still Air
- Not Quite Extinct!
- Battle of Britain Class Locomotive Plates
- Comet – The World’s First Jet Airliner
- The Art of Sergeant Elva Blacker
World Aviation in 1918
The German D-Type (Fighter) competition at Berlin-Adlershof is won by the Fokker VII designed by Reinhold Platz and is put into production as the Fokker DVII
The first German Gotha Bomber to be shot down at night over England is destroyed by No.44 Squadron with Sopwith Camels over Wickford in Essex.
Five German Navy Airships are destroyed in an explosion at the Ahlhorn sheds.
The first American Expeditionary Force (AEF) balloon ascent is made at the Balloon School at Cuperly in France.
The Airco DH4, the first American mass produced combat aircraft, begins production.
The first operational squadrons of the American Expeditionary Force are formed in France. American Air Force squadrons go on to destroy 781 enemy aircraft.
Lieutenant Stephen W. Thompson becomes the first American pilot to gain an aerial victory while serving with an American squadron.
The first American fighter squadron, the 95th Aero (Pursuit) Squadron, arrives in France.
The Aviation of the 1st Polish Corps is formed from the 1st Polish aviation Unit.
Ilmailuvòimat, the Finnish Air Arm, is formed.
Dr Ing Theodor von Kárman and Wilheim Zurovec complete an electrically powered helicopter in Budapest. The PKZ1 performs four tethered lift-offs, with all but one carrying three people.
The American Expeditionary Force (AEF) begin airship operations with the French Astra-Torres AT1 non-rigid dirigible (steerable airship).
The 2nd Balloon company is established, becoming the first United States balloon unit to serve operationally in France with American Expeditionary Force (AEF) ground forces.
The Junkers D1, an all-metal single-seat cantilever monoplane fighter, is flown as a prototype. 41 aircraft are eventually produced.
The first regular international air mail is organised in Austria by A.R. von Marwil. Mail is carried in a Hansa-Brandenburg CI from Vienna to Lvov (then Lemberg) and Proskurov via Cracow. A branch service is also run from Proskurov to Odessa. The service expands on 11 July 1918 by adding Budapest to its destinations, but later collapses with the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918.
American aircraft of the 95th (Pursuit) squadron begin patrol flights over the Western Front, defending the River Marne from German reconnaissance aircraft. Observation patrols begin on the 19 March with aircraft of the 94th (Pursuit) squadron.
While on patrol near Heligoland, Ensign Stephen Potter becomes the first United States Navy (USN) airman to shoot down a German aircraft.
The German spring offensive begins and hundreds of aircraft take part in Kaiserschlacht (‘Emperors Battle’).
A Curtiss H16 flying boat, the first production aircraft built by the United States Naval Aircraft Factory, makes its first flight.
Fokker DVII biplane fighters become operational on the Western Front with Jagdegeschwader I. The DVII proves itself to be the best German fighter of the First World War.
A pilot of Jasta 56 is the first to bale out in an emergency when his Albatros DVa is shot down over British lines. He was probably using a Heinecke cushion-type parachute, landed safely and was taken prisoner.
German Gotha bombers bombed Paris, hitting a hospital and killing a mother, baby and a nurse. Bombs also exploded in the city and northern suburbs. A further attack that night left 26 dead and 72 injured.
The Loughead brothers fly their F1 Seaplane from Santa Barbara to San Diego.
Teniente Luis C. Candelaria of the Argentinean Army makes the first aerial crossing of the Andes. He flies the 120 miles from Zapala, Argentina to Cunço in Chile in a Morane-Saulnier Parasol monoplane, reaching an altitude of 13,000 feet to clear the higher peaks.
The 94th Aero (Pursuit) squadron becomes the first American unit to engage in combat when Lieutenants Douglas Campbell and Alan Winslow, flying Nieuport 28’s shoot down two German aeroplanes and capture the pilots.
Baron Manfred Von Richthofen, the ‘Red Baron’, is shot down and killed. Manfred von Richthofen was the most successful fighter pilot of the First World War and at the time of his death, he had shot down 80 Allied aircraft in air combat.
Although Captain Roy Brown of No.209 Squadron is credited with the destruction of von Richthofen’s Fokker Triplane, it has also been suggested that the Red Baron actually fell victim to ground fire whilst being pursued by Captain Brown.
Captain Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, who would later become America’s top ace of the First World War, with 26 victories, claims his first victory, an Albatros Scout.
The American Expeditionary Force receives the first United States built de havilland DH4.
Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare aircraft are used to fly an air service across the Tyrrhenian Sea, which lasts for a month.
The United States Army Signal Corp establishes the first American airmail service between New York and Washington, using Curtiss JN and Standard J aircraft.
Captain Rudolph W. Schroeder attains a height of 10,093 metres. (33,113 feet) flying from Dayton, Ohio, in a Packard-Le Père LUSAC-11 fighter, powered by a liberty12 engine, fitted with a Turbocharger.
The 96th Aero Squadron, the first American bomber unit, forms in France.
In the latest of a series of monthly raids on London and the Home Counties by German Gotha bombers and Staaken airships, 49 civilians are killed and 179 injured as bombs fell in residential areas before midnight
Hauptmann H Kohl receives the Pour le Mérite for flying 800 missions.
Overman Act creates the Bureau of Aircraft Production and the Division of Military Aeronautics. The United States Army Air Service is formed from these on 24 May.
US Army Air Service is formed.
The Chief Directorate of the Workers and Peasants Military Air Fleet (GU-RKKVF: Glavoce Upravlenie-Raboche-Krestyanskogo Vozdushhnogo Flota) replaces the All-Russian Air Board.
Brigadier General Mason Patrick is made Chief of the US Air Service in France.
1st Lt Douglas Campbell shoots down his fifth German airplane to become the US Army’s first ace.
Oberleutnant Ernst Udet receives the Pour le Mérite.
Oberleutnant Erich Löwenhardt receives the Pour le Mérite
American aircraft of the 96th Aero Squadron carry out the first bombing raid by US aircraft on the Western Front, attacking the railway yards at Dommany-Baroncourt.
Fleeing from the Russian Revolution, aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky offers his services to the French Government.
Italy’s most successful fighter pilot, Maggiore Francesco Baracca, credited with 34 victories, is killed during a ground attack mission at Montello.
Leutnant F. Rumey is awarded the Pour le Mérite.
General Ludendorff launches the final major attack of the German spring Offensive at Reims. It fails by the 18th.
During this month, German Fokker DVII fighters claim 565 kills over the Western Front.
The first Fokker E.V parasol wing fighters are received on the Western Front by Jagdgeschwarder I, commanded by Goering. However, wing failures result in the quick withdrawal of the type by August 21.
German fighter ace, Oberleutnant E. Loewenhardt is killed in a mid-air collision with another German pilot. He had scored 53 victories, and would be the third most successful German pilot by the end of the war.
Eighteen Brandenburg W29 floatplane fighters attack six British patrol craft near Borkum, sinking three and damaging three more. The remaining three boats escape to Holland, where they are interned.
The United States Post Office takes over airmail services from the Army.
The Royal Canadian Naval Air Service is founded.
An assault on the Saint Mihiel Salient, during the Battle of Bapaume, sees the largest number of aircraft assembled for a single operation. 1,483 aircraft of all types, under the command of Brigadier General William ‘Billy’ Mitchell, support American and British ground forces.
Captain Edward V. Rickenbacker is awarded the US congressional Medal of Honour.
Frenchman Capitaine René Paul Fonck shoots down six German aircraft in a day, including four Fokker DVII’s and an Albatros DV.
Leutnant F. Büchner is awarded the Pour le Mérite.
2nd Luitenant Frank Luce Jr is posthumously awarded the US Congressional Medal of Honour. He was killed on the 28th after destroying three balloons, and having been wounded, he landed behind enemy lines and engaged German ground troops. His score of 21 victories makes him the second ranking American ace of the war.
Roland Garros is killed when his SPAD XIII fighter breaks up during aerial combat at Vouziers.
After a heroic supply dropping mission at Binarville resulted in their deaths, 2nd Lt Erwin R. Bleckley and 1st Lt Harold E Goettler receive posthumous United States Congressional Medals of Honour.
Pilots of the 185th Aero (Pursuit) Squadron carry out the first United States night fighter operations in France.
1st Aviation Unit of the Polish Forces is formed.
The first strengthened Fokker DVIII, called the Fokker E.V, arrives at the Western Front and is an immediate success, with a good rate of climb and manoeuvrability complementing a maximum speed of 204 km/h (127 mph)
The Inter-allied Independent Air Force is created and Marshal Foch of France is made the supreme commander, with Britain’s General Sir Hugh Trenchard as commander in chief
The Czechoslovak Army Air Force is formed.
The Allies and Turkey agree to an Armistice.
Canadian Air Force is formed.
An Armistice is signed at Compiègne in France, ending the First World War. Britain finishes the war with largest air force, while France has the best equipped.
The Italian airline, Posta Aerea Transadriatica, begins regular mail flights from Venice.
The Central Aero and Hydrodynamics Institute (TsAGI) is established in Moscow. It is the first establishment of its kind in the world, and becomes the most important aeronautical research centre in the Soviet Union.
The Aero Club of America lifts its ban on flying over cities, allowing pilots certified as ‘expert’ aviators to overfly populated areas. Post Office pilots had been permitted to do this since August.
Four Curtiss JN-4 ‘Jennies’ complete the first United States Army coast to coast crossing of the USA, from San Diego to Jacksonville.