Royal Aircraft Establishment


The Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) was formed in June 1918 when the Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF) was renamed, partly to avoid its abbreviation being confused with the newly formed Royal Airforce. In addition to this renaming there was also a shift away from the production that had previously been undertaken on the Establishment’s Farnborough site, and an increased focus on the research and development that was seen as its main role in the aviation industry, although a small number of aircraft continued to be constructed on site until the end of the war in November 1918. As part of this the sites function was defined as being to conduct experimental and development work on aeroplanes and engines, the testing of experimental instruments and accessories, undertaking flying instrument development for which there was little commercial demand, investigating failures within aircraft and components, liaison with industrial contractors for research purposes, technical supervision during construction of experimental machines, being available for approach for approval of designs and stressing of new aeroplanes, and the issue of airworthy certificate and of technical publications.