The First Steps

Balcan Wars »

history1_pic1The admirable weapon of the skies, the Hellenic Air Force, with its dynamic present and brilliant future, has a glorious history to display, full of continuous struggles for the country’s independence and freedom.

In 1911 the Hellenic Government assigned the establishment of an Air Service to French experts. As a result six officers were posted to France in order to be trained as pilots, while the first military aircraft were ordered from the French firm Maurice and Henry Farman.

history1_pic2_smOn February 8, 1912 the first flight in Greece was performed by the aviator Emmanuel Argyropoulos with a 50-hp Nieuport. The same day, Argyropoulos carried out a second flight with the then prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos on board.

history1_pic3_smOn May 13, 1912 1st lieutenant Dimitrios Kamberos flew the first military Henry Farman aircraft, and later participated in Army manoeuvres.In June of the same year while the establishment of a Naval Air Service was being examined, Kamperos, having converted the first Henry Farman «Daedalus» into a hydroplane flew at an average speed of 110Km per hour thus achieving a new world record.At the same time another pioneer, Alexandros Karamanlakis, conducting a flight from Phaleron to Patras with a 50-hp Bleriot aircraft performed an unsuccessful ditching in the Corithian Gulf and met his death, thus opening the pantheon of the sacrifices of the Hellenic epopee in the skies.

In late September 1912, the «Aviators Company» consisting of four officers pilots, was set up in Larissa. The first combat air unit was a reality.

Balcan Wars »