17 May 7:00 pm
– 9:00 pm
This May sees a talk by Group Captain David Baker on the early flying commanders John and Geoff Salmond at the Museum of Army Flying. The Salmonds had been both promoted to Major General by the end of the first World War, John in Command of the RFC & RAF in France and Geoff in Command of the RFC & RAF in the Middle East.
David recounts the development of Air Power from early fragile Maurice Farmans, to the mighty Handley Page 0-400 Bombers of the Trenchard’s Independent Air Force. He illuminates his talk with the technical development of aerial photography, dangerous early efforts at bombing and the significance of gun synchronisation to enable firing through the propeller. Aircraft fitted with synchronised guns so dominated the skies that they were known as the “Fokker Scourge”.
The cost of Air Superiority in France and the Middle East is told by the exploits of the pilots as well as illustrated by the terrible attrition of out-dated aircraft and the race for improvement.
“Boom” Trenchard’s magnetic personality could have overshadowed the Salmonds, but both their achievements were fundamental to bringing about the Armistice.
As the Grandson of Sir Geoffrey Salmond, David has access to family papers which shed a unique light on the development of Air Power in the First World War, unveiling a fascinating story of vision, outspoken determination, technological and organisational development, personal conflict, and military achievement.
A curry supper is available from the The Museum of Flying's Apache Cafe team from 6pm (vegetarian meal also offered).