Three fighter planes in formation during an exhibition at Cuatro Vientos airfield in Madrid, Spain.
A flight is a military unit in an air force, naval air service, or army air corps. It usually comprises three to six aircraft, with their aircrews and ground staff; or, in the case of a non-flying ground flight, no aircraft and a roughly equivalent number of support personnel. In most usages, multiple flights make up a squadron. The "flight" is also a basic unit for intercontinental ballistic missiles. In the Fleet Air Arm a flight could be as few as 1 helicopter operating from a smaller ship. French equivalent is "escadrille".
The use of the term "flight" to describe a collection of aircraft (typically four in the early days of aviation) dates back to around 1912. Winston Churchill claims to have invented the term while he was learning to fly with the Royal Navy's embryonic air service. It has also been suggested that the term was coined by technical sub-committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence which was examining the British air arrangements around the same time.
April 23rd, 2014
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