15 August 1915 – World’s first independent Air Force formed

Today, the Romanian Air Corps was formed to become the world’s first independent Air Force under Lt Colonel Constantin Gavanescu.
The Romanian army had already been pioneers as only the second army after France to use aircraft. In the autumn of 1910, during the Royal manoeuvers, a single aeroplane designed and built by the engineer Aurel Vlaicu took part.

Two flight schools were created in 1911 near Bucharest, one by the lawyer Mihail Cerchez at Chitila (who also had a workshop where Farmans were being assembled) and the other one by prince Gheorge Valentin Bibescu at Cotroceni (which used Bleriot airplanes). These schools trained the first Romanian military pilots.

In the manoeuvers of 1911, the air contingent had expanded to 6 aircraft in two sections, 3 Farmans (mr. Ion Macri, slt. Stefan Protopopescu, slt Gheorghe Negrescu) and 3 Bleriots (lt. (r) Gheorge Valentin Bibescu, lt. Mircea Zorileanu, lt. Nicolae Capsa). The aircraft were used for reconnaissance missions and aerial photography and exceeded all expectations. In 1912, eight aircraft took part.

On 1 April 1913 the Parliament passed a Law officially creating a military flying section as part of the Engineer Corps. Later that year they participated with 15 aircraft and 9 pilots in the the Second Balkan War. Their role was limited to reconnaissance missions, as none had any weapons installed.

Romania remained neutral in 1914 and has not entered the war to date. Nevertheless, After the beginning of the war the process of training pilots was expanded. A flight instructor and aerial observer schools were created. That said the force still has only a few aircraft as the war has limited deliveries from French manufacturers.


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