The Centenary of Naval Aviation is a 6 stamp and 1 Miniature Sheet issue featuring intricate illustrations from military history illustrator Jon Bachelor, produced with the invaluable help of Gary Rimay-Muranyi, Lieutenant, Royal Naval Reserve, Fly Navy Heritage whose attention to detail and enthusiasm make the issue as great and historically accurate as it is.
The Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) was established in January 1914 under the Air Department of the Admiralty. By the outbreak of the First World War in August, it had more aircraft under its control than the Army's Royal Flying Corps (RFC). The main roles of the RNAS were fleet reconnaissance, patrolling coasts for enemy ships and submarines, attacking enemy coastal territory and defending Britain from enemy air-raids, along with deployment along the Western Front. In April 1918 the RNAS, which at this time had 67,000 officers and men, 2,949 aircraft, 103 airships and 126 coastal stations, was merged with the RFC to form the Royal Air Force.