Air Department
The Air Department of the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

The Admiralty was formerly the authority in the Kingdom of England, and later in the United Kingdom, responsible for the command of the Royal Navy...

 was established prior to World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 by Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

. Its function was to foster naval aviation
Naval aviation
Naval aviation is the application of manned military air power by navies, including ships that embark fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters. In contrast, maritime aviation is the operation of aircraft in a maritime role under the command of non-naval forces such as the former RAF Coastal Command or a...

 developments and later to oversee the Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Naval Air Service
The Royal Naval Air Service or RNAS was the air arm of the Royal Navy until near the end of the First World War, when it merged with the British Army's Royal Flying Corps to form a new service , the Royal Air Force...

 (RNAS). Its first director was Captain Murray Sueter
Murray Sueter
Sir Murray Fraser Sueter, CB, MP was a Royal Naval officer who was noted as a pioneer of naval aviation and later became a Member of Parliament .-Naval career:...

. In 1915, with the growth of the Naval Air Service, the position of Director of the Air Department was abolished and replaced by that of Director of the Naval Service. This new post was a flag officer
Flag Officer
A flag officer is a commissioned officer in a nation's armed forces senior enough to be entitled to fly a flag to mark where the officer exercises command. The term usually refers to the senior officers in an English-speaking nation's navy, specifically those who hold any of the admiral ranks; in...

 appointment and the first Director was Rear-Admiral Charles Vaughan-Lee
Charles Vaughan-Lee
Sir Charles Lionel Vaughan-Lee, KBE, CB was a senior Royal Navy officer in the early 20th century. He served during the First World War, rising to the rank of rear-admiral....


Originally, British naval aviation came under the authority of the Commander-in-Chief, The Nore. In February 1915, the RNAS was placed under the command of the Director of the Air Department (Captain Murray Sueter), although disciplinary powers over RNAS personnel were not granted to the Director. In July 1915 a further reorganization occurred when the post of Director of the Air Department was abolished and replaced with that of the Director of the Air Service (Rear-Admiral Charles Vaughan-Lee).


The Air Department produced a few of its own designs for aircraft between 1915 to but these were built by established external aircraft manufacturers
  • AD Flying Boat
    AD Flying Boat
    |-See also:-References:NotesBibliography*Andrews, C.F. and E.B. Morgan. Supermarine Aircraft since 1914. London:Putnam, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-800-3.*Bruce, J.M. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. London:Putnam, 1957....

     - built by Supermarine
    Supermarine was a British aircraft manufacturer that became famous for producing a range of sea planes and the Supermarine Spitfire fighter. The name now belongs to an English motorboat manufacturer.-History:...

  • AD Navyplane
    AD Navyplane
    -References:NotesBibliography*Andrews, C.F. and Morgan, E.B. Supermarine Aircraft since 1914. London:Putnam, 1987, ISBN 0-85177-800-3.*Bruce, J.M. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. London:Putnam, 1957....

     - built by Supermarine
  • AD Scout
    AD Scout
    |-See also:-References:NotesBibliography*Bruce, J.M. War Planes of the First World War: Volume One Fighters. London:Macdonald, 1965.*Lewis, Peter. The British Fighter since 1912. London:Putnam, Fourth edition, 1979. ISBN 0-370-10049-2....

     - built by Blackburn and by Hewlett and Blondeau
  • AD Seaplane Type 1000
    AD Seaplane Type 1000
    -References:NotesBibliography*Goodall, Mike. "Wight Elephants: Murray Sueter's Quest for a Large Military Aircraft". Air Enthusiast, No. 73, January/February 1998. Stamford, Lincs, UK:Key Publishing. ISSN 0143 5450. pp.14-19....

     - built by J. Samuel White
    J. Samuel White
    J. Samuel White was a British shipbuilding firm based in Cowes, taking its name from John Samuel White . It came to prominence during the Victorian era...

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