The files contain extracts from original documents, although not necessarily all of the information in the document has been included. For example the Aircraft Park records of receipts and deliveries often give the name of the pilot, but I have generally not transcribed this information.
Series of documents relating solely to RNAS aircraft have been excluded as this information is available elsewhere, although individual entries relating to RNAS aircraft are included where they form part of a larger collection.
All files are in comma separated value (.csv) format which can be edited with a text editor or loaded into a spreadsheet.
The majority of files are in a standard format to aid analysis. These files contain the following columns:
|SFA||French serial or non-RFC serial. In a few cases this is a German serial|
|Type||Aircraft type - see 'Aircraft Types' below|
|Engine||Engine type - see 'Engine codes' below|
|Engine no.||Engine no. - generally the manufacturers no. followed by the WD no.|
|From||Original location (if an aircraft movement)|
|To||Destination or current location|
|Date||Date in the format dd.mm.yy|
|Comments||Comments or narrative. My comments appear in square brackets i.e. [...]|
|Source||National Archive box or file reference|
|Class||Class of document|
|Image||My internal document reference|
|Line||Sequential line number|
|Date||Date in Army format YYMMDD for text sorting purposes|
'00' within a date means the day or month is uncertain i.e. 00.00.14 means some time in 1914.
All dates should be treated with caution.
If two names are given, the first is the pilot and second the observer. Otherwise the observer is identified by (Obs) after the name.
I have generally shown the type as it appears in the original document. The RFC referred to aircraft by their common names, which is often not the type designation that we recognise today. The most common names appear below.
|Name in file||Actual type|
|AW||Armstrong Whitworth FK3 or FK8|
|Sopwith 1str||Sopwith Pup|
|Sopwith 2str||Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter|
|Sopwith F1||Sopwith Camel|
|Sopwith Scout||Sopwith Pup|
|Vickers Fighter||Vickers FB|
1str means single-seater. 2str means 2-seater
The BE2 series of aircraft were often recorded by a phonetic version of their designation as follows. In each case I have recorded the actual designation
|Name in file||Actual type|
Similarly the RE8 was sometimes recorded as 'Reait'. I have recorded this as RE8.
For a short period in 1914 the RFC introduced a code system for aircraft types. This was soon abandoned as more types were introduced. The nomenclature was:
|RC||Avro (50 Gnome)|
|RD||Avro (80 Gnome)|
|RG||Sopwith 2 seater|
|RK||Maurice Farman 1913 (Longhorn)|
|MB||Maurice Farman 1914 (Shorthorn)|
Engines are generally shown with the horse power followed by a manufacturer code.
I have used the following codes to identify the more popular engine types:
|Bd||Beardmore (British built Austro-Daimler)|
|Cl-LS||Clerget long stroke|
|Cl-SS||Clerget short stroke|
|Eag||Rolls Royce Eagle|
|Fal||Rolls Royce Falcon|
|Mono||Gnome Monosoupape (single valve). E refers to English built, F is French|
|Raf||Royal Aircraft Factory|
View a list of other abbreviations