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Thornaloe taking off from Y turret

The Navy's Air War 1914-18

When World War 1 began in August 1914, the newly formed Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) had 93 aircraft, six airships and just over 700 personnel. When it merged with the Royal Flying Corps to form the Royal Air Force in April 1918, the RNAS had about 3000 aircraft, over one hundred airships and more than 55000 personnel.

The Navy's Air War 1914-1918, tells the story of the RNAS in World War 1 - how it developed from small beginnings as the Royal Navy's embryonic air wing to playing a key role in theatres of war all over the world.

In our WW1 exhibition you will discover the variety of roles undertaken by the RNAS, how its personnel were recruited and what life was like in the new air service. With World War 1 aircraft, inter-actives, discovery boards, hands-on activities, personal stories and more, there's a lot to see, do and enjoy.

Other exhibits in this hall

  • Supermarine Walrus (L2301) Supermarine Walrus (L2301)
  • Westland Dragonfly HR5 (VX595) Westland Dragonfly HR5 (VX595)
  • Wessex HU.5 (XT765) Wessex HU.5 (XT765)
  • Wessex HAS.3 (XP142) Wessex HAS.3 (XP142)
  • Short S27 Short S27
  • Sopwith Baby (N2078) Sopwith Baby (N2078)

The Navy's Air War 1914-18


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