In addition, since the United Kingdom was the main base for operations against the Axis forces and was itself under constant threat of air attack, flying training became virtually impossible there, and great numbers of aircrew pupils were sent to Canada, South Africa, and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to receive their training at schools specially established for the purpose. On September 7, 1940, the Germans began a series of raids on the capital city that Luftwaffe commanders believed would see the end of the RAF, for they hoped that British Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding would send all his available forces to defend London. It was founded on 1 April 1918, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. On August 25 the Germans accidentally bombed London, and the British at once retaliated with a token attack on Berlin. Its members gave part-time service, undergoing flying and technical training on weekends and during holiday periods. In 1925 an organization known as the Auxiliary Air Force was formed. aviat. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, Aircraft and equipment of the Royal Air Force,, Heritage Newfoundland and Labrador - Royal Air Force, CRW Flags - United Kingdom: History of the Royal Air Force, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). On August 8 the Germans expanded their attacks to British fighter airfields in southern Britain, and by the end of August night raids were being carried out throughout the kingdom. In 1999 the British military’s battlefield rotary-wing aircraft were gathered under the umbrella of the Joint Helicopter Command (JHC). Early in 1942 the RAF bomber command, headed by Sir Arthur Harris, began an intensification of the Allies’ growing strategic air offensive against Germany. Beginning in June 1940 and continuing into the next year, the Battle of Britain was fought in the air and endured on the ground. It possessed 200 operational squadrons and nearly the same number of training squadrons, a total of 22,647 aircraft. Meanwhile, in February 1911 the Admiralty had allowed four naval officers to take a course of flying instruction on airplanes at the Royal Aero Club grounds at Eastchurch, Kent, and in December of that year the first naval flying school was formed there. Transport aircraft were widely used in campaigns all over Asia to convey vast quantities of food, ammunition, and even vehicles and guns. The British air force, formed in 1918 by amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps (founded 1912) and the Royal Naval Air Service (founded 1914). From June 1941 (six months before the United States entered the war) until the end of hostilities, British aircrew were also trained at civilian-operated schools in the United States. The Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane helped defend Britain during the Battle of Britain. noun. The RAF cooperated with the army in the training and transport of parachutists and in towing troop-carrying gliders, whose soldier-pilots flew and landed them in the selected area when cast off by the towing aircraft. Listen to the audio pronunciation in English. hist. It is the oldest air force in the world. One Team. Above all, Dowding proved that an air force could, contrary to accepted military doctrine, fight a successful defensive battle. With the rapid deterioration of the international outlook in Europe, expansion was greatly increased and accelerated. Not only had the RAF won the battle over Britain, but it had also defeated a project to invade Britain by sea by destroying the barges and landing craft that the Germans had been assembling. [WW II, member of the female auxiliary corps of the Royal Air Force] [2. [2] The first man to lead the RAF was Hugh Trenchard. Definition. Military aviation in the United Kingdom dates from 1878, when a series of experiments with balloons was carried out at Woolwich Arsenal in London. Learn more. Built on the proud history and traditions of the Australian Flying Corps and the Royal Australian Air Force, we will fight and win by generating integrated kinetic and non-kinetic air and space effects across the sea, land, air, space and cyber operating domains. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. After being supplanted by the Avro Lancaster, the Wellington served in mine laying, submarine hunting, photo reconnaissance, and other roles throughout the war. A series of aircraft with the general designation “BE” (Blériot Experimental) resulted and did excellent service in the earlier stages of World War I. In Europe, US Air Force Brings Back Cold War Mobility Concept Defense One 17:08 23-Dec-20. On April 1, 1918, the RNAS and RFC were absorbed into the RAF, which took its place beside the navy and army as a separate service with its own ministry under a secretary of state for air. Air Force Ranks. An air force is a country's armed force that fights in the air. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The RAF regiment remained after the war as a regular arm of the service, tasked with securing airfields and providing forward air control personnel to British army and Royal Marine ground forces. British Royal Air Force Harrier GR7a VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) airplane at the July 17, 2006, Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford, Gloucestershire, England. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 during a training exercise. Updates? At the outbreak of war on September 3, 1939, the first-line strength of the RAF in the United Kingdom was about 2,000 aircraft. Finally, though this did not occur until 1941, the Air Training Corps (ATC) replaced the air defense cadet units and the school air cadet corps of the immediate prewar years. There were, however, delays in the buildup of the force, and eight years later, when Adolf Hitler attained power in Germany, the RAF possessed only 87 squadrons, regular and auxiliary, at home and overseas. The need for trained mechanics, possessed of the various skills peculiar to a military aviation service, was met by the School of Technical Training at Halton, Buckinghamshire, where boys 15 years of age were received as apprentices for a three-year course in their chosen trade. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Its headquarters was at South Farnborough, Hampshire, where the balloon factory was located. The WRAF became a regular service in 1949, and in April 1994 it was merged with the RAF. These attacks, which were aimed against factories, rail depots, dockyards, bridges, and dams and against cities and towns…, The RAF Bomber Command launched nearly 10,000 sorties in March 1944 and dropped some 27,500 tons of bombs, about 70 percent of this effort being concentrated on Germany; but in the following months its offensive was largely diverted to the intensive preparation and, later, to the…. On April 1, 1911, an air battalion of the Royal Engineers was formed, consisting of one balloon and one airplane company. With some 35,000 troops and fewer than 150 fixed-wing combat aircraft, the RAF was a smaller, more-focused force than it had been in previous years. Though most of World War II was fought in the air with aircraft powered by piston engines, the last year of hostilities witnessed the entry on both sides of the newly developed jet engine, which by the early 1960s had almost entirely ousted the piston engine in the RAF. Instead, Dowding utilized Chain Home, the most advanced early-warning radar system in the world, to dispatch his limited resources to meet threats as they appeared. Sopwith Camel, one of the most effective British fighter aircraft of World War I. By this point, the balloon factory had been renamed the Royal Aircraft Factory, and it undertook the design and manufacture of airframes and engines. In order to provide the numbers required to crew the rapidly expanding front line strength and to compensate forthe heavy casualties suffered, training programs were undertaken in many parts of the Commonwealth early in the war. Speeds increased from 60 to 150 miles (97 to 241 km) per hour and engine power from 70 to more than 400 horsepower before the end of the war. University air squadrons, the first of which had been formed soon after World War I to teach undergraduates to fly and to encourage them to join the RAF as regular officers, greatly expanded their activities. proper noun. You Can Buy The Royal Air Force's Impressive Sentinel Radar Planes, But Only In Pieces The Drive 19:15 23-Dec-20. A number of private British designers also entered the field, and most of the aircraft in use in the British and Empire Air Services in the latter half of the war were products of British factories. July 22, 1918 - An "Entry Card" for the Royal Air Force provides the following information: He is a cadet. overdog. The bomber force was built up as the strategic deterrent, and by 1966 its main armament consisted of Handley Page Victor B.2 and Vulcan B.2 medium bombers, of which a number were armed with Blue Steel air-to-surface nuclear standoff missiles. 299.9k Followers, 248 Following, 1,386 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Royal Air Force (@royalairforceuk) To provide the crews for the additional aircraft, the RAF Volunteer Reserve and the Civil Air Guard were formed to give training at civilian schools and flying clubs. [3] Following the Allied victory over the Central Powers in 1918, the RAF emerged as the largest air force in the world at the time. It is the world’s oldest independent air force. Young men were commissioned for four years (subsequently increased to six), of which the first year was spent in training, followed by service in active squadrons. Some examples of the UK bases are RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, RAF Valley in Wales, RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland and RAF Linton-on Ouse in England. French Translation of “Royal Air Force” | The official Collins English-French Dictionary online. British Royal Air Force synonyms, British Royal Air Force pronunciation, British Royal Air Force translation, English dictionary definition of British Royal Air Force. By 1923 the prospects of permanent peace in Europe appeared less certain, and a substantial increase in air defense expenditure was decided upon. With the completion of 'Project Centurion' upgrades, the Typhoon FGR4 took over ground attack duties from the Panavia Tornado GR4, which was retired on 1 April 2019. royal air force list definition in the English Cobuild dictionary for learners, royal air force list meaning explained, see also 'royal blue',royal family',Royal Highness',royal jelly', English vocabulary British Hawker Hurricane being flown at an air show in Dunsfold, Surrey, England. The strength of the RAF in November 1918 was nearly 291,000 officers and airmen. J'étais artilleur de queue à la RAF. The Tornado was retired in 2019 and replaced with the F-35 Lightning, a multirole aircraft also known as the Joint Strike Fighter. The Royal Air Force was to provide a preliminary bombardment by 250 bombers and close air support thereafter. Ranks are shown in ascending order. Upon the outbreak of World War I, the RFC, possessing 179 airplanes and 1,244 officers and men, sent an aircraft park and four squadrons to France on August 13, 1914. In order to ensure a constant supply of pilots and to build up a reserve, a short-service commission scheme was introduced in 1919. Royal Air Force, youngest of the three British armed services, charged with the air defense of the United Kingdom and the fulfillment of international defense commitments. The first steps toward implementing this decision were taken in 1925, when a new command, the Air Defense of Great Britain, was set up, with a proposed ultimate strength of 52 squadrons of fighters and bombers stationed in the United Kingdom. During World War II, pilots of the RAF distinguished themselves in the Battle of Britain and conducted a … √ Fast and Easy to use. In Iraq, between 1920 and 1932, the RAF exercised military control of the country with a force of eight squadrons of aircraft and two or three companies of armoured cars. Search nearly 14 million words and phrases in more than 470 language pairs. A Royal Air Force pilot in the cockpit of a Gloster Gladiator, the last biplane fighter fielded by the Royal Air Force, after a battle with Italian aircraft over Libya, 1940. The RAF carried out its first independent operations during the closing months of the war in a series of strategic bombardments of targets in France and Germany by a specialized force of heavy bombers. Women's Auxiliary Air Force [Br.] These were grouped as follows: Fighter Command, concerned with home defense, with a small component detached to the expeditionary force in France until that country was overrun in June 1940; Bomber Command, for offensive action in Europe; and Coastal Command, for the protection of maritime routes, under the operational direction of the navy. Oxford English and Spanish Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Spanish to English Translator Translations in context of "Royal Air Force" in German-English from Reverso Context: Mein Vater war Pilot bei der Royal Air Force. This list of RAF Stations is a list of all current Royal Air Force stations, airfields, and administrative headquarters of the Royal Air Force. What we do We work with our UK and international partners to watch the skies, respond to threats, prevent conflict, and provide assistance in an uncertain world. In the seesaw battles in North Africa, the British learned a great deal about highly mobile air warfare. The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), a re-creation of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) of World War I, came into being as a separate service in June 1939, out of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, an army-sponsored organization which had been formed a year earlier and had recruited special air force companies. Royal Air Force definition: the air force of the United Kingdom | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples They normally served under the orders of the local air force commander but were so organized that they could fit smoothly into the army command structure in the face of a widespread enemy threat. At the conclusion of their engagement, they passed to the reserve of air force officers for a further period of four years. Search nearly 14 million words and phrases in more than 470 language pairs. (In 1949 the WAAF became the WRAF once more.) The Royal Air Force of Oman has witnessed a quantu m leap in all levels be it new aircraft, modern devices and equipment and highly qualified human resources, … Improve your English and try our online English lessons for free. The Hawk is used to train fast-jet pilots. As these aircraft were retired, there were no obvious successors, and during the Falkland Islands War the British military was forced to rely on civilian aircraft for its transport needs. A Vickers F.B.5 Gunbus, the first production aircraft purpose-built with air-to-air weaponry. There were also Balloon, Maintenance, Reserve, and Training commands. The RAF lost great numbers of pilots and aircraft, fighting around the world and especially against the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force. One other innovation was the formation of the RAF regiment for the protection of aerodromes against enemy attack. The RAF also participated in the 2011 NATO air campaign in Libya and conducted operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Army Cooperation Command was created in 1940 and Ferry Command (subsequently expanded into Transport Command) in 1941. After the war, the service was drastically cut and its inter-war years were relatively quiet, with the RAF taking responsibility for the control of Iraqand executing a number of mino… At the end of September, Göring, having already lost more than 1,650 aircraft, was forced to change to high-altitude night raids that had limited strategic value. In this they were partially successful because their low-flying aircraft could not be detected on British radar. When the wartime forces were demobilized in 1945, the total strength of the RAF was reduced to about 150,000. External links. Here is the rank structure for commissioned ranks of the Royal Air Force. In the course of the war, techniques were developed for landing individuals or bodies of troops behind enemy lines by means of parachutes or gliders. Over time, the RAF phased out its strategic bomber force entirely, and in 1969 its nuclear deterrence mission passed to the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet. WK, Mitglied des Korps der weiblichen Helfer der Royal Air Force ] The Royal Air Force fending off German bombers during the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940. By the time the war ended, RAF personnel numbered 963,000, with 153,000 women in the WAAF. Royal Air Force (RAF): The British Air Force. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). Meaning and examples for 'Royal Air Force' in Spanish-English dictionary. The RAF has very new planes including the Eurofighter Typhoon, Panavia Tornado and the BAe Systems Hawk. Since the prospect of another European war was regarded as remote, the squadrons at home served as a strategic reserve for overseas reinforcement and as service training units for personnel prior to their posting to squadrons abroad. noun. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, Britain’s strategic transport force consisted of Britannias, Belfast long-range freighters, and VC-10 troop transports, each of the last-named capable of carrying 150 men or a number of armoured vehicles. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Hitler and Luftwaffe chief Hermann Göring then decided to break the morale of Londoners as they had done to the citizens of Warsaw, Poland, and Rotterdam, Netherlands. It was mainly by means of the airlift that the Burma campaign was carried to a successful conclusion. Culture the armed forces the armed forces The British armed forces, sometimes called the services, consist of the Army, the Royal Navy (RN), and the Royal Air Force (RAF).The Queen or King is Commander-in-Chief of all three services, but responsibility for their management lies with the Ministry of Defence (MOD), which is headed by the Secretary of State for Defence. Supermarine Spitfire, Britain's premier fighter plane from 1938 through World War II. 1 Royal Canadian Air Force Squadron, an element of the Royal Air Force's Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, 1940. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand combined to operate the Empire Air Training Scheme, under which each of them recruited and trained pilots, navigators, and radio operators for service with the RAF. Mass coronavirus testing efforts leads to award for Rhoose RAF sergeant Barry & District News, Wales 15:28 23-Dec-20. RAF Seletar fut une base aérienne de la Royal Air Force (RAF) de 1923 à 1971. It is the oldest air force in the world. From 1936 onward the aircraft industry received powerful financial aid from the government to enable additional factories to be built to increase production, while many automobile firms turned their works over to the construction of complete aircraft or their components. Translation for: 'Royal Air Force' in English->Czech dictionary. From. The RAF began in 1918[1] when the Royal Flying Corps (spoken as 'core') and the Royal Naval Air Service joined together. Translation for 'Royal Air Force' in the free English-Dutch dictionary and many other Dutch translations. United Kingdom Defence … Royal Air Force (RAF), youngest of the three British armed services, charged with the air defense of the United Kingdom and the fulfillment of international defense commitments. √ Over 1,500,000 translations. RAF Seletar was a Royal Air Force station in Singapore between 1928 and 1971. Armed with light antiaircraft weapons as well as with the ordinary infantry armament, they were trained on commando lines. Learn more. These monumental undertakings were reflected by an equally dramatic expansion in numerical strength. royal-air-force definition: Proper noun (Abbreviated as: RAF) 1. By 1956 the total strength was up to 257,000, but by the early 1960s it had again retracted to about 150,000 (including 6,000 women in the WRAF), the majority of whom were stationed in the U.K. or in Europe as part of NATO forces. The Royal Air Force (sometimes called RAF, its acronym), is the air force of the United Kingdom.The RAF began in 1918 when the Royal Flying Corps (spoken as 'core') and the Royal Naval Air Service joined together. To train permanent officers for the flying branch of the service, a cadet college was established at Cranwell, Lincolnshire, in 1920. How to say Marshal of the Royal Air Force. The preponderance in numbers of the overseas squadrons resulted largely from the system evolved by the air staff and adopted by the government of making use of air power as an economical method of maintaining order throughout the British Empire. The Royal Air Force (sometimes called RAF, its acronym), is the air force of the United Kingdom. The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force.It was formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918 and is the world's oldest independent national air force. Soon, however, specialized types of aircraft were produced for fighting, bombing, reconnaissance, and aerial photography. Many important planes were built for the RAF. Beginning in March 1940, the RAF began to bomb targets in Germany, and the British strategic bombing campaign against German cities, industry, and infrastructure would continue throughout the war. The growth and versatility of the air forces had demonstrated that air power had a separate and essential role to play in modern warfare, independent of, but in closest cooperation with, the older services. Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder developed not only a mobile logistical system but also the technique of leapfrogging squadrons from airfield to airfield so that he always had operational units while others were redeploying. The Panavia Tornado, a multirole sweep-wing combat aircraft, entered service in 1979 and would serve as the backbone of British air power for the next 40 years. The subsequent deterioration in the international outlook led to a fresh expansion in 1951. Royal air force. n the air force of the United Kingdom. In the meantime, great air forces were built up in North Africa, Italy, Burma (now Myanmar), and elsewhere. The peacetime pattern for the RAF provided for 33 squadrons, of which 12 would be based in the United Kingdom and 21 overseas. The RAF is the oldest independent air force in the world – the first air force to become independent of army or navy control. He joined the Royal Air Force in July 1940. an air force: a part of a country's military forces which uses aircraft, and fights in the air. Isolated bodies of troops in difficult terrain were supplied for protracted periods entirely by parachute. The Typhoon is tasked to defend UK airspace, while also frequently deploying in support of NATO air defence missions in the Baltic (Operation Azotize), Black Se… Word of the day. In many cases, the Royal Air Force rank will be the junior of the three Services, the Royal Navy having seniority over both the Army and RAF. Il s'était engagé dans la Royal Air Force en juillet 1940. On May 13, 1912, a combined Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was formed, with naval and military wings and a Central Flying School at Upavon on Salisbury Plain. Some years later a medium-service scheme, with 10 years’ regular service followed by a period in the reserve, was introduced as an alternative. Royal Air Force commandos training with a Lewis gun during World War II. Future of the Royal Air Force; Notes References. Vickers Wellington, the main British bomber in the early part of World War II. With the conclusion of the battle for North Africa, the RAF Desert Air Force transitioned to support the Allied campaign in Italy, and the RAF was instrumental in the success of the Allied invasion of Normandy. The RAF were very busy during World War II. Over 100,000 French translations of English words and phrases. By the outbreak of World War II, this force possessed a number of highly trained fighter squadrons, which did such good service throughout the war that the prefix “royal” was added to its title at the end of hostilities. In addition to the Tornado, the RAF fielded the Eurofighter Typhoon, a delta-wing multirole aircraft that entered service in 2003. While the British were not the first to make use of heavier-than-air military aircraft, the RAF is the world's oldest independent air force: that is, the first air force to become independent of army or navy control. RAF troop strength had declined significantly by the second decade of the 21st century as part of an overall force-reduction strategy implemented by the British military. arrow_drop_down - Online dictionaries, vocabulary, conjugation, grammar Toggle navigation Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). In it boys received some preliminary air force training with a view to their eventual entry into the RAF. Marshal of the Royal Air Force pronunciation. Halifax heavy bomber, widely used by the Royal Air Force during World War II. Of the RAF’s conduct in the Battle of Britain, Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”. On July 10, 1940, the German air campaign began when the Luftwaffe attempted to clear the English Channel of British convoys. Translation of British Royal Air Force in English. √ 100% FREE. Translate British Royal Air Force in English online and download now our free translator to use any time at no charge. I was a tail gunner for the Royal Air Force. This interservice command was created to better coordinate the attack, rescue, and support capabilities of British helicopter forces. Meaning of Royal Air Force in English: Royal Air Force (also RAF) See synonyms for Royal Air Force. From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License. The Gunbus was configured as a “pusher” (the propeller was located behind the engine), as engineers had not yet developed a synchronizing device that would allow a machine gun's bullets to pass between the blades of a spinning propeller. mil. The Avro Lancaster bomber attacked Germany with strategic bombing. The RAF would conduct operations around the globe throughout World War II, but nowhere was its role more conspicuous than during the Battle of Britain. The specialized aviation requirements of the Royal Navy made it appear, however, that a separate organization was desirable, and on July 1, 1914, the naval wing of the RFC became the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), with the land-based wing retaining the title Royal Flying Corps.