Published on July 10th, 2017 | by Sarah Jubb
Celebrating The Aviators Of The First World War
The Royal Mint has issued a new coin that commemorates the bravery of the aviators in the First World War. This was the first time that war had truly been waged in the air.
When war first broke in 1914, air power was still small and had not been developed fully. It was after all, only 11 years since the Wright brothers in the United States had developed and flown the very first airplane, recognised today as the first ‘sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered’ flight by a machine.
The air force of the United Kingdom at the time was the Royal Flying Corps and due to the limitations of aircraft at the time, often flimsy and underpowered, the airmen were often at greater risk from their planes than the actual enemy.
While we may think today of military planes as a force to be reckoned with, the limitations of early aircraft in World War One meant that they were often limited to reconnaissance purposes at the start. The planes often had a wooden frame that was only lightly covered with linen. This meant that it would be unwieldy and awkward to equip weaponry to them.
The planes slowly became more robust and dependable, allowing aircraft to begin fighting each other in the air using fantastic feats of flying. In June 1917, the threat from the air further advanced when German Gotha planes flew over Britain and engaged in the first true air raid.
The Formation Of The RAF
The First World War saw a constant struggle for air superiority on either side with both making continual improvements to their aircraft. This meant that by the time the war ended in 1918, the aircraft that took to the air looked nothing like their ancestors from only four years before. These aircraft were capable of carrying incredibly heavy bombs and incredible speeds.
As well as the RFC, during World War One there was also the Royal Naval Air Service in operation. New attacks on London in 1917 resulted in General Jan Christian Smuts recommending that the RFC and the RNAS amalgamate. This advice was taken on board and on 1 April 1918, the Royal Air Force was officially born.
As such, the Royal Air Force is officially the world’s oldest independent air force and still plays a large role in British military operations today.
First World War 2017 Aviation Coin
The beautiful First World War 2017 Aviation Coin has been officially endorsed by the Imperial War Museum and is the newest in a series that commemorates the 100th anniversary of World War One. It has a bold design that depicts a pilot and an observer in action on a reconnaissance mission over the Battle of Arras in 1917.
The reverse designer is Tangerine and along the edge is the inscription ‘The Sky Rained Heroes’. Available in both Silver Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated, the First World War Aviation 2017 coins are the perfect item for any avid coin collector or lover of history.