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  #1  
Old 06-11-22, 11:58 AM
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High Wood High Wood is offline
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Default Aeronautical Inspection Directorate badge.

I bought this badge this morning on a whim as I wasn't exactly sure what I was buying. The badges were individually numbered, my one being No. 8109.

I have found the following on the National Archives' website,

The Aeronautical Inspectorate Division (AID) was originally established by the War Office, and then passed successively to the Ministry of Munitions (1917), the Air Ministry (1920), the Ministry of Aircraft Production (1940), the Ministry of Supply (1946), and the Ministry of Aviation (1959).

The need for an aircraft inspection department was first officially recognised in 1912, when the report of the Departmental Committee on Accidents to Monoplanes was published. The committee was charged with investigating certain accidents that had occurred to monoplanes and to make recommendations for the reduction of such risks.

The Aeronautical Inspection Department (AID) was formed in December 1913 for the purpose of inspecting aircraft and other supplies for the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). The department was immediately organised into two main technical branches dealing with the inspection of aeroplanes and engines respectively, each under the control of an Inspector. The headquarters of the department were temporarily established in a private house - "Ashdean", Alexandra Road, Farnborough Common for receipt of machines delivered by private contractors for final flight tests as laid down in their contracts. At that date the establishment staff totalled 28. The growth of work caused by the war, and the take-over of inspection for the Naval as well as the Military Aeronautical Service, had necessitated an increase in the establishment to 10,600 by Armistice in November 1918.

The scope of the inspection carried out by AID comprised not only aircraft but supplies of many other kinds utilized by the Flying Service, such as balloons, hangars, tents, machine tools, raw materials, fabrics and a variety of general equipment. In the inspection of these multifarious supplies almost every trade was dealt with, and some idea may be formed of the department's technical requirements when it is realized that detailed inspection was made of all materials, of the manufacturing process to which they were subjected, of the assembly of various parts into component units and of the erection of the aircraft, engines, etc.

The Headquarters organisation was divided into sections, each containing officers specialising in its particular branch of engineering or science. The external organisation was on a geographical basis, the country being divided into districts each under the control of a district officer responsible for the entire conduct of inspection throughout his territory.

By 1939 AID was an engineering organisation, mainly civilian, but in part RAF, whose prime purpose was to ensure that all RAF and RN equipment manufactured or repaired by contractors and by RAF maintenance units was constructed to approved designs and was fit and serviceable for issue to the users, the operational and training units of the RAF and RN.

For administrative and technical control the staff of AID was divided into six divisions, namely aircraft, armament, engines, aircraft equipment, materials and general stores, the members of each division being specialists in the appropriate technical work. In 1941 a seventh, Common Services Division was added dealing with administrative matters and supervision of female personnel. Also a Consultant on Radiological Inspection (CRI) was appointed to AID.

AID grew apace. The outbreak of the war saw DAI with director's status. In October 1941 the post was upgraded to Deputy Director General and in June 1943 further upgraded to Director General, with coincident regrading of other senior staff.

In 1955 AID assumed the inspection of guided weapons, and a Guided Weapons Division was formed. In 1957 the inspection of aircraft equipment was transferred by AID to the Electrical Inspection Directorate (EID).

The inspectorates of the Ministry of Supply were re-organised in 1958/1959 on a technique basis whereby the Electrical and Mechanical Inspection Department lost its responsibility for mechanical equipment to the Fighting Vehicles Inspection Department and acquired responsibility for electrical/electronic equipment of aircraft from the Aeronautical Inspection Department.

The new inspectorates were organised in an Inspection Division under a Director-General of Inspection (DGI) and this organisation continued with the transformation of the Ministry of Supply into the Ministry of Aviation in 1959; the division was responsible for the inspection of all equipment and supplies procured by the Ministry.

The Aeronautical Inspection Directorate at Chessington was responsible for the inspection of aircraft airframes and accessories, aircraft engines, including turbine, piston and rocket engines, as well as guided weapons and metallic and non-metallic materials used in aircraft; each function was organised under the control of a deputy director. The inspectorate also had its own laboratories at Harefield, Middx as well as regional offices around the country and superintending inspectors working with the largest aircraft suppliers.

The Electrical Inspection Directorate at Aquila, Bromley was specifically responsible for electrical and electronic equipment and supplies as well as atomic weapons; in these fields EID was regarded as the inspectorate of ultimate reference. Internally, it was divided into four main divisions: Atomic Weapons, Electronics, Engineering Services and Power and Instruments.

The other two inspectorates in the Division, the Inspectorate of Armaments at Woolwich and the Inspectorate of Fighting Vehicles and Mechanical Equipment at Kidbrooke were transferred to the War Office by 1962.

In 1967 the Inspection Division transferred to the Aviation Group of the Ministry of Technology.
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  #2  
Old 06-11-22, 06:33 PM
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Very interesting post! I'd always been curious about these badges and wondered which period they slotted into. I'll read through this in detail later.

Many thanks!
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  #3  
Old 10-11-22, 05:06 PM
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Some related WW2 badges and Documents from the AID.

Jon

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Old 11-11-22, 09:23 PM
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Fascinating post
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  #5  
Old 04-12-22, 10:10 AM
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The badge in the original post dates from the Great War, they are almost always encountered with an official number, (the highest that I have seen is 10034) normally upon the buttonhole fitting and upon the reverse of the badge itself in the case of those with a pin, which are rather scarce, I assume these later were worn by women much the same as the Royal Aircraft Factory badges with a pin rather than a buttonhole.
There was also an unnumbered half size version for, I assume, wear when not actually on duty and a full size Canadian version with a scroll under the circlet with Montreal upon it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dumdum View Post
Very interesting post! I'd always been curious about these badges and wondered which period they slotted into. I'll read through this in detail later.

Many thanks!

Last edited by Frank Kelley; 04-12-22 at 04:06 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-12-22, 11:06 AM
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mike_vee mike_vee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Kelley View Post
The badge in the original post dates from the Great War, they are almost always encountered with an official number, (the highest that I have seen is 10034) normally upon the buttonhole fitting and upon the reverse of the badge itself in the case of those with a pin, which are rather scarce, I assume these later were worn by women much the same as the Royal Aircraft Factory badges with a pin rather than a buttonhole.
There was also an unnumbered half size version for, I assume, wear when not actually on duty and a full size Canadian version with a scroll under the circlet with Montreal upon it.
That badge number would be from 1918 , details from National Archives :

Quote:
The growth of work caused by the war, and the take-over of inspection for the Naval as well as the Military Aeronautical Service, had necessitated an increase in the establishment to 10,600 by Armistice in November 1918.

Edit : Ooops ! Just spotted that this info is in original post.


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Last edited by mike_vee; 04-12-22 at 11:19 AM.
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  #7  
Old 04-12-22, 01:03 PM
Beaker123 Beaker123 is offline
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Very informative post! In addition to the full size version I have a miniature version, wing tip to wing tip being 9mm as opposed to about 24mm on the full size version. I don't know if this is the half size version mentioned above or smaller.

It's difficult to make out what it is with the naked eye (well my eyes anyway). It is not numbered.

My full size badge was numbered 10116 but this was apparently an error as one digit has been overimpressed so it's 10016.

Steve
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  #8  
Old 04-12-22, 04:00 PM
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Frank Kelley Frank Kelley is offline
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Yes, I think it would have been.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_vee View Post
That badge number would be from 1918 , details from National Archives :




Edit : Ooops ! Just spotted that this info is in original post.


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  #9  
Old 04-12-22, 04:01 PM
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Frank Kelley Frank Kelley is offline
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Very nice indeed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaker123 View Post
Very informative post! In addition to the full size version I have a miniature version, wing tip to wing tip being 9mm as opposed to about 24mm on the full size version. I don't know if this is the half size version mentioned above or smaller.

It's difficult to make out what it is with the naked eye (well my eyes anyway). It is not numbered.

My full size badge was numbered 10116 but this was apparently an error as one digit has been overimpressed so it's 10016.

Steve
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