Air Board

From Naval History Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search
Air Board
United Kingdom
Agency overview
Formed1916
Preceding agency
Dissolved1918
Superseding department
JurisdictionGovernment of the United Kingdom
HeadquartersWhitehall
London

Air Board or Air Force Board was the governing body that controlled and directed the Royal Air Force. It was established in May 1916 replacing the Joint War Air Committee in January 1918 the Air Board was dissolved following the creation of a government department of state, the Air Ministry. Its function in regard to aircraft design, programme and policy passed to the Ministry of Munitions.[1]

History

In February 1916 a Joint War Air Committee was appointed to co-ordinate the design and procurement activities of the the separate air services of the Admiralty and the War Office. In May 1916 it was superseded by an Air Board.[2]

Following the New Ministries and Secretaries Act 1916 the Air Board was reconstituted as a ministry in January 1917. Its president was deemed to be a minister and it was given responsibility for aircraft design, requirements, and allocation. At the same time the Ministry of Munitions took over from the service departments responsibility for the supply and inspection of aeroplanes, seaplanes, engines, and accessories.[3]

The First Air Board

The next attempt to establish effective co-ordination between the two air services was the creation of an Air Board. The first Air Board came into being on 15 May 1916 with Lord Curzon as its chairman. The inclusion of Curzon, a Cabinet Minister, and other political figures was intended to give the Air Board greater status than the Joint War Air Committee. In October 1916 the Air Board published its first report which was highly critical of the arrangements within the British air services. The report noted that although the Army authorities were ready and willing to provide information and take part in meetings, the Navy were often absent from Board meetings and frequently refused to provide information on naval aviation.[4]

The Second Air Board

In January 1917 the Prime Minister David Lloyd George replaced the chairman Lord Curzon with Lord Cowdray. Godfrey Paine, who served in the newly created post of Fifth Sea Lord and Director of Naval Aviation, sat on the board and this high level representation from the Navy helped to improve matters. Additionally, as responsibility for the design of aircraft had been moved out of single service hands and given to the Ministry of Munitions, some of the problems of inter-service competition were avoided.[5]

The Air Board was dissolved in January 1918 following the creation of an Air Ministry. Its function in regard to aircraft design, programme and policy passed to the Ministry of Munitions.[6]

References

  1. "Records created or inherited by the Air Ministry, the Royal Air Force, and related bodies". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Kew, London: National Archives UK. 1862–1992. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  2. National Archives UK.
  3. National Archives UK.
  4. National Archives UK.
  5. Baker, Anne (2003). From Biplane to Spitfire. Pen And Sword Books. p. 109. ISBN 0-85052-980-8.
  6. National Archives UK.

Bibliography

  1. Baker, Anne (2003). From Biplane to Spitfire. Pen And Sword Books. Barnsley. ISBN 0850529808.
  2. "Records created or inherited by the Air Ministry, the Royal Air Force, and related bodies". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Kew, London: National Archives UK. 1862–1992. Retrieved 18 September 2019.