Air Ministry

British Air MinistryAir BoardAir CouncilMinistry of Civil AviationAir CommitteeAir MinAir MinisterCommander Wilfred BriggsDepartment of Aeronautics
The 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.wikipedia
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Royal Flying Corps

RFCRoyal Flying Corpairman
On 13 April 1912, less than two weeks after the creation of the Royal Flying Corps (which initially consisted of both a naval and a military wing), an Air Committee was established to act as an intermediary between the Admiralty and the War Office in matters relating to aviation.
On 1 April 1918, the RFC and the RNAS were amalgamated to form a new service, the Royal Air Force (RAF), under the control of the new Air Ministry.

War Office

British War OfficeWar DepartmentOld War Office Building
On 13 April 1912, less than two weeks after the creation of the Royal Flying Corps (which initially consisted of both a naval and a military wing), an Air Committee was established to act as an intermediary between the Admiralty and the War Office in matters relating to aviation. In 1964 the Air Ministry merged with the Admiralty and the War Office to form the Ministry of Defence.
It was equivalent to the Admiralty, responsible for the Royal Navy, and the (much later) Air Ministry, which oversaw the Royal Air Force.

Air Council

Air Force CouncilAir Member for Training
On 3 January, the Air Council was constituted as follows:
Air Council (or Air Force Council) was the governing body of the Royal Air Force until the merger of the Air Ministry with the other armed forces ministries to form the Ministry of Defence in 1964.

Admiralty

British AdmiraltyLord High Admiralthe Admiralty
On 13 April 1912, less than two weeks after the creation of the Royal Flying Corps (which initially consisted of both a naval and a military wing), an Air Committee was established to act as an intermediary between the Admiralty and the War Office in matters relating to aviation. In 1964 the Air Ministry merged with the Admiralty and the War Office to form the Ministry of Defence.
In 1964, the Admiralty—along with the War Office and the Air Ministry—were abolished as separate departments of state, and placed under one single new Ministry of Defence.

Secretary of State for Air

President of the Air CouncilAirPresident of the Air Board
It was under the political authority of the Secretary of State for Air. Lord Rothermere was appointed the first Air Minister.
The person holding this position was in charge of the Air Ministry.

Television House

Adastral HouseSt Catherine's HouseAir Ministry headquarters
Later, in 1919, it moved to Adastral House on Kingsway.
After the formation of the Air Ministry in 1918, its headquarters was on Kingsway; one of two identical buildings opposite Bush House became Adastral House, the name being derived from the RAF motto.

David Henderson (British Army officer)

David HendersonSir David HendersonBrigadier-General Henderson
He formed part of the technical sub-committee of the Air Committee which helped to decide the organisation of the Royal Flying Corps, which was formed on 13 April 1912.

Mark Kerr (Royal Navy officer)

Mark KerrAdmiral Mark KerrMark Edward Frederic Kerr
Kerr returned to Great Britain in August 1917 and the Admiralty seconded him to the Air Board to assist in the formation of the Air Ministry and the Royal Air Force.

List of Air Ministry specifications

Air Ministry SpecificationspecificationSpecification B.35/46
(see List of Air Ministry specifications).
This is a partial list of the British Air Ministry (AM) specifications for aircraft.

Harold Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere

Lord RothermereHarold HarmsworthRothermere
Lord Rothermere was appointed the first Air Minister.
First flying in 1935, the Bristol Type 142 caused great interest in Air Ministry circles because its top speed of 307 mph was higher than that of any Royal Air Force fighter in service.

Met Office

Meteorological OfficeUK Met OfficeUKMO
The Air Ministry was responsible for weather forecasting over the UK, from 1919 it being the government department responsible for the Meteorological Office.
Following the First World War, the Met Office became part of the Air Ministry in 1919, the weather observed from the top of Adastral House (where the Air Ministry was based) giving rise to the phrase "The weather on the Air Ministry roof".

RAF Intelligence

Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence)Air IntelligenceRAF Intelligence Branch
By April 1944, the ministry's air Intelligence branch had succeeded in its intelligence efforts regarding "the beams, the Bruneval Raid, the Gibraltar barrage, radar, Window, heavy water, and the German nightfighters" (R.V. Jones).
At the time, officers of the General Duties (GD) Branch (mainly trained pilots on a ground tour or who for medical reasons could no longer fly) performed the duty of Squadron Intelligence/Protection Officer, or aircrew on ground tours in the Air Ministry Intelligence Department.

Royal Air Force College Cranwell

RAF College CranwellRoyal Air Force CollegeRAF College, Cranwell
The foundation stone of the Royal Air Force College Cranwell was laid in 1929 and formally opened in 1934.
Just before the outbreak of the Second World War, the Air Ministry closed the College as an initial officer training establishment.

Ministry of Supply

British Ministry of SupplySupplyBritish Supply Mission
In later years the actual production of aircraft was the responsibility of the Ministry of Aircraft Production (1940–46), the Ministry of Supply (1946–59), the Ministry of Aviation (1959–67) and finally the Ministry of Technology (1967–70).
The Ministry of Supply was abolished in late 1959 and its responsibilities passed to the Ministry of Aviation, the War Office and the Air Ministry.

Hugh Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard

Hugh TrenchardLord TrenchardSir Hugh Trenchard
Throughout 1919 there were discussions between Sir Hugh Trenchard Chief of the Air Staff and Sir Rosslyn Wemyss First Sea Lord as to the nature of the relationship between the Air Force and Air Ministry and the Navy and the Admiralty.
After the Air Force Bill received the Royal Assent on 29 November 1917, there followed a period of political manoeuvring and speculation over who would take up the new posts of Air Minister, Chief of the Air Staff and other senior positions within soon-to-be-created Air Ministry.

Battle of the Beams

KnickebeinX-GerätY-Gerät
By April 1944, the ministry's air Intelligence branch had succeeded in its intelligence efforts regarding "the beams, the Bruneval Raid, the Gibraltar barrage, radar, Window, heavy water, and the German nightfighters" (R.V. Jones).
British scientific intelligence at the Air Ministry fought back with a variety of their own increasingly effective means, involving jamming and distortion of the radio waves.

RAF Coastal Area

Coastal Areacoastal areas
This negotiation led to the creation of RAF Coastal Area the predecessor of RAF Coastal Command to deal with its relationship with the Navy.
Air Ministry figures claimed aircraft sighted 361 U-boats, attacked 236 and sank 10.

History of radar

radarAirborne Intercept (AI) radarRange and Direction Finding
By April 1944, the ministry's air Intelligence branch had succeeded in its intelligence efforts regarding "the beams, the Bruneval Raid, the Gibraltar barrage, radar, Window, heavy water, and the German nightfighters" (R.V. Jones).
In November 1934, the Air Ministry established the Committee for the Scientific Survey of Air Defence (CSSAD) with the official function of considering "how far recent advances in scientific and technical knowledge can be used to strengthen the present methods of defence against hostile aircraft".

Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)

Ministry of DefenceMoDUK Ministry of Defence
In 1964 the Air Ministry merged with the Admiralty and the War Office to form the Ministry of Defence.
From 1946 to 1964 five Departments of State did the work of the modern Ministry of Defence: the Admiralty, the War Office, the Air Ministry, the Ministry of Aviation, and an earlier form of the Ministry of Defence.

Imperial Airways

airlinesEmpireG-EMBS
He negotiated a subsidy from the Treasury for Imperial Airways to start a service from Cairo to India.
Indirectly these negotiations led to the dismissal in 1936 of Sir Christopher Bullock, the Permanent Under-Secretary at the Air Ministry, who was found by a Board of Inquiry to have abused his position in seeking a position on the board of the company while these negotiations were in train.

Death ray

ray-gundeadly beam of energydeath beam
In the 1930s, the Air Ministry commissioned a scientific study of propagating electromagnetic energy which concluded that a death ray was impractical but detection of aircraft appeared feasible.
Harry Grindell-Matthews tried to sell what he reported to be a death ray to the British Air Ministry in 1924.

Airspeed Ltd.

AirspeedAirspeed LtdAirspeed Limited
So the aero engine project was abandoned in 1936, see Airspeed.
The project was abandoned in September 1936 after the expenditure of about two hundred thousand pounds when Lord Nuffield got the fixed price I.T.P. (Intention to Proceed) contract papers (which would have required re-orientation of their offices with an army of chartered accountants) and decided to deal only with the War Office and the Admiralty, not the Air Ministry.

Reginald Victor Jones

R. V. JonesR.V. JonesDr. R.V. Jones
By April 1944, the ministry's air Intelligence branch had succeeded in its intelligence efforts regarding "the beams, the Bruneval Raid, the Gibraltar barrage, radar, Window, heavy water, and the German nightfighters" (R.V. Jones).
In 1936 Jones took up the post at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, a part of the Air Ministry.

Robert Watson-Watt

Robert Watson WattRobert WattRobert Alexander Watson-Watt
Robert Watson-Watt demonstrated a working prototype and patented the device in 1935 (British Patent GB593017).
On 12 February 1935, Watson-Watt sent the secret memo of the proposed system to the Air Ministry, Detection and location of aircraft by radio methods.

Government of the United Kingdom

British GovernmentUK GovernmentGovernment
The 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.