18 Facts About Air Ministry


Air Ministry was a department of the Government of the United Kingdom with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964.

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On 13 April 1912, less than two weeks after the creation of the Royal Flying Corps, an Air Ministry Committee was established to act as an intermediary between the Admiralty and the War Office in matters relating to aviation.

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The new Air Ministry Committee was composed of representatives of the two war ministries, and although it could make recommendations, it lacked executive authority.

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The recommendations of the Air Ministry Committee had to be ratified by the Admiralty Board and the Imperial General Staff and, in consequence, the Committee was not particularly effective.

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The first Air Ministry Board came into being on 15 May 1916 with Lord Curzon as its chairman.

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In October 1916 the Air Ministry Board published its first report which was highly critical of the arrangements within the British air services.

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The new air service was to receive direction from a new ministry and on 29 November 1917 the Air Force Bill received Royal Assent and the Air Ministry was formed just over a month later on 2 January 1918.

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Air Ministry continued to meet in the Hotel Cecil on the Strand.

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The creation of the Air Ministry resulted in the disestablishment of the Army Council's post of Director-General of Military Aeronautics.

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In 1919 the RAF and the Air Ministry came under immense political and inter service pressure for their very existence, particularly in a climate of significantly reduced military expenditure.

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In 1919 the Air Ministry formally took control of supply, design and inspection of all aircraft from the Ministry of Munitions.

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Air Ministry presented the White Paper, largely written by Sir Hugh Trenchard, on the future of the RAF on 12 December 1919.

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Air Ministry was interested in developing air links to the Empire and Dominion countries, particularly India and South Africa.

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Air Ministry negotiated a subsidy from the Treasury for Imperial Airways to start a service from Cairo to India.

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Air Ministry realised the importance of the Schneider Trophy and was instrumental in making sure that the R A F was involved.

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Air Ministry issued specifications for aircraft that British aircraft companies would supply prototypes to.

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Air Ministry was responsible for weather forecasting over the UK, from 1919 it being the government department responsible for the Meteorological Office.

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In 1964 the Air Ministry merged with the Admiralty and the War Office to form the Ministry of Defence.

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