This is an original Dated 1916
A very rare RFC Card in exceptional condition
The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was created by Royal Warrant 100 years ago on 13 April 1912 and established a month later in May.
The RFC can trace its origins back to the Royal Engineers and the early flying experiments undertaken by the Army from the 1870s, and by the Royal Navy from the 1900s.
This pioneering work demonstrated the potential for using balloons, kites, airships and finally aeroplanes for a military purpose. This realisation, combined with the arguments put forward by civilian ‘air-minded’ individuals of the time and the evidently superior air forces of other European countries, persuaded the British Government that a flying corps was needed. As a result the RFC was established in 1912.
It consisted of a Military Wing, a Naval Wing and a Central Flying School. This small Corps, formed just nine years after the famous Wright Brothers’ flight of 1903 would find itself at war just two years later. The First World War would see the first extensive and decisive use of air power.
At the Cadet Wing pupils received basic military training during a two-month course which included drill, physical training, military law, map reading and signalling using Morse code.
Once completed they moved on to the School of Military Aeronautics to begin a two-month course of military training and ground instruction. The topics covered included aviation theory, navigation, map reading, wireless signalling using Morse code, photography and artillery and infantry co-operation. The students were also taught the working of aero engines and instruments and basic rigging.
The next phase involved flying at a Training Depot Stations (TDS). Cadets were expected to complete a minimum of 25 hours elementary flying training – both dual and solo – on Avro 504 aircraft logged over three months. Thorough ground instruction was also provided. This achieved, student pilots received the grade ‘A’.
Cadets remained at the same TDS for the second phase of their instruction. This two-month course included a further 35 hours flying time with a minimum of five hours on a modern ‘front-line’ type of aircraft. Student pilots also had to demonstrate proficiency in cross-country and formation flying, reconnaissance work and gunnery. Successful cadets were graded ‘B’ and commissioned.
Extract from Air Force Museum
World War One/ Aviation/ Royal Flying Corps/ Royal Air Force/interest.