Unit History: Fighter Squadron
Generic term used to more closely define the role of a squadron in the Royal Air Force or the Fleet Air Arm. When used as a part of the unit title, the word Fighter is frequently bracketed as in "No. 1 (Fighter) Squadron RAF."
The word “fighter” was first used to describe a 2 seater aircraft, with sufficient lift to carry a machine gun and its operator as well as the pilot. The first such fighters belonged to the Gunbus series of experimental gun carriers of the British Vickers company which culminated in the Vickers F.B.5 Gunbus of 1914. The main drawback of this type of aircraft was its lack of speed. It was quickly realised that an aircraft intended to destroy its kind in the air needed at least to be fast enough to catch its quarry.
The word "fighter" did not become the official British term for a single seat fighter until after the First World War. In the Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force such aircraft continued to be called "scouts" into the early nineteen twenties.
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