Following his arrival on 24 June Frederick Sykes made his “Report on RNAS Units and the Aerial Requirements of the Naval and Military Forces at the Dardanelles,” to the Admiralty today.
His main recommendation is that the the RNAS needs to be reorganized, relocated, and strengthened, and that with adequate support, the RNAS at Gallipoli can help turn the campaign into a success.
In particular, Sykes noted that the air units are too separated from each other, too distant from their work areas, and lack central control. The RNAS needs an HQ located as close as possible to GHQ, to ensure that the staffs work as closely as possible together. The RNAS should therefore move from Tenedos to Imbros, which will also reduce the flying time to Gallipoli by one third (16 miles).
He also noted that cooperation is impossible without standardized technologies. The RNAS has 11 seaplanes of 5 different types and 3 different engines as well as 13 aeroplanes of 5 different types and 6 different engines. This is an impossible situation for both pilots and mechanics. Sykes therefore asked for the following equipment:
1) As many B.E. 2c aircraft as possible.
2) 36 Maurice Farman aircraft with 80 to 100 horse power engines.
3) Spare aircraft of each type.
4) 80 aircraft mechanics.
5) 6 photographers with appropriate eguipment.
6) 24 Lewis or Vickers aerial machine-guns.
7) Signal lamps, tents, and sheds.
8) 6 motor boats.
9) 8 scout seaplanes.