Skip to main content

Royal Flying Corps

Royal Flying Corps. The Royal Engineers experimented with balloons in the 1870s and a small factory was established at Chatham in 1883. Several balloons were used for observations during the Boer war. Blériot's flight across the Channel in 1909 and the German Zeppelin programme persuaded the army to set up an Air Battalion in 1911 and the RFC was established in April 1912, with a Central Flying School at Upavon on Salisbury Plain. In 1914, 4 squadrons went to France with 63 aeroplanes, most of them BE2 biplanes (Blériot Experimental), made at the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough. The first reconnaissance was carried out on 19 August. The early role of the corps was scouting, with the odd hand-grenade tossed over the side of the cockpit, but the buildup of forces and the invention of the synchronized machine-gun, firing through the propeller, led to frequent dog-fights. Albert Ball, flying an SE5, shot down 43 German planes before he was killed in May 1917: the total was surpassed by the Canadian William Bishop (72) and Edward Mannock (73). The corps' defensive capabilities were demonstrated on 3 September 1916 when William Leefe Robinson shot down Zeppelin SL 11 while it was raiding London. In 1918 air warfare was reorganized to assist co-ordination. The RFC amalgamated with the Royal Naval Air Service to form the Royal Air Force, with its own minister.

J. A. Cannon

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Royal Flying Corps." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Royal Flying Corps." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/royal-flying-corps

"Royal Flying Corps." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved September 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/royal-flying-corps

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.