The Year of '18

The years aircraft: The Handley Page V/1500 --- the first flight from England to India

In the final days of the RFC, over 1200 aircraft were deployed in France and were available to meet the German offensive of 21 March 1918 with the support of RNAS squadrons. From 1 April these forces combined to form the Royal Air Force as an independent armed service. From small beginnings the air services had grown by the end of the war to an organisation of 290,000 men, 99 Squadrons in France (with 1800 aircraft), a further 34 squadrons overseas, 55 Home Establishment squadrons and 199 training squadrons, with a total inventory of some 22,000 aircraft.