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Hellenic Air Force History

Inter-War Period


Prime Minister L. Venizelos
together with deputy
Air-minister Αl. Zannas


Gloster Mars VI Nighthawk


Hellenic Air Force
Academy graduates (Class-36th)


Hydroplane Avro504 N/D

«The aircraft is indicated as the weapon of the weak. Indeed, the Greek’s daring and bold nature will render it a brilliant weapon in war, bound to offer great service»

Eleftherios Venizelos (February 9, 1912)

The Asia Minor Campaign was followed by a long period of peace during which both the Hellenic Army and Naval Air Services were reorganised and upgraded. From 1925 new types of aircraft of English and, mainly, French manufacture (Gloster Mars Nighthawk, Fairey III F, Morane-Saulnier, Hawker Horsley, Avro 621 and 626 and Breguet Bre 19) were delivered. In co-operation with the British Company Blackburn Aeroplane, the Aircraft Factory was set up in Phaleron, where the T3A Velos hydroplanes and the Altas and Avro 504 aircraft were manufactured.

On June 8, 1928 a significant achievement in relation to the capabilities of the then Army Air Service takes place. A Breguet Bre 19, appropriately adapted and named «HELLAS», with pilot 1st lieutenet Evangelos Papadakis and observer Colonel Christos Adamides on board, took off from Tatoi and flew around the Mediterranean sea in 20 days covering a distance of 12.000 Km.

In 1930 the Air Ministry was founded and the Hellenic Air Force (known abroad as RHAF) was established as a unified independent branch of the Hellenic Armed Forces. Eleftherios Venizelos was sworn in as the first Air Minister and assigned the total reorganisation of the Branch to the experienced aviator Alexandros Zannas.

In co-operation with the linguist Manolis Triantafyllides a new (RAF type) ranks structure -used until today- was established. In 1931 the Air Force Academy was founded in Tatoi and became the new officers’ seedbed. The establishment of the Weather Bureau, run until today without any obstacle, constituted an achievement of vital importance for the safety of the flights.

In 1934 the Hellenic Air Force General Staff was set up, while in the context of modernisation, new aircraft types, namely the PZL P24, Dornier Do 22, Avro Anson, Potez Po 63, Henschel Hs 126, Fairey Battle and Bristol Blenheim, were delivered and significant infrastructure works were carried out