Ministry of Munitions, Department of Aircraft Production, Technical Department, 1917-1920
Administrative / biographical background:
The Aircraft Production Department (originally called the Aeronautical Supplies Department) was established in January 1917, when the responsibility for the supply and inspection of aircraft was transferred to the Ministry of Munitions; questions of policy, programme and design remaining with the Air Board.
The sections dealing with aircraft supplies at the War Office and the Admiralty formed the nucleus of the new department, of which William Weir became Controller. The department was divided into two main divisions: Supply and Production; and Inspection. These were subdivided into sections dealing with aeroplanes, seaplanes, engines, accessories, materials, etc.
In January 1918, following the formation of the Air Ministry, the responsibility for design was transferred to the Ministry of Munitions, and the Aircraft Production Department, which had hitherto formed part of the Engines Group under the Munitions Council, became an independent Air Group and the Controller was appointed Member of Council A and Director-General of Aircraft Production.
A Technical Department was formed to deal with questions of design and experiment, and shortly afterwards an American Assembly Department was established to deal with the American machines arriving in this country.
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