Royal Aircraft Factory

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British Army Aircraft Factory under new name, Royal Aircraft Factory, per designation of 1 Apr 1912, but still commonly known as The Factory. Mervyn O'Gorman, superintendent and Geoffrey de Havilland, test pilot and chief designer, were retained; de Havilland left to join Airco in June 1914. E. T. Busk played part in applying theory of inherent stability of design of RE1, about May 1913. SE designs by Harry Folland from 1914 assisted by John Kenworthy and Maj. Frank Goodden.

Continued work formerly carried out under name of Army Aircraft Factory. To 1919, primarily to support the British war effort, produced or subcontracted the production of some 2,300 de Havilland FE2s, 3,200 BE2s, and over 5,000 SEs. Also produced or subcontracted the production of several thousand additional BS (Blériot Scout) and RE (Reconnaissance Experimental) types proposed by Superintendent O'Gorman in 1910 but apparently did not develop the final type proposed by O'Gorman, the TE (Tatin Experimental with propeller behind tail), though many other prototypes were produced including AE, CE, and NE. The formation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918 let to The Factory being renamed Royal Aircraft Establishment around that time. After the end of WWI, activities were devoted solely to research in support of the aircraft manufacturing industry.

While 1919AYB360 lists RAF as a common abbreviation we have chosen not to use this as the short name and to follow SD which places its entry under Royal Aircraft Factory.

Renamed and mission changed to research, 1918


Names Royal Aircraft Factory, The Factory, RAF
Country Great Britain
Started aero 1912
Ended aero 1918
Key people Mervyn O'Gorman, Geoffrey de Havilland, E. T. Busk, Harry Folland, John Kenworthy, Frank Goodden
Wikidata id