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Royal Albanian Air Corps

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Royal Albanian Air Corps

Royal Albanian Air Corps
Forcat Mbretërore të Aviacionit
Active 1925 - 1939
Country  Albania
Allegiance Royal Albanian Army
Branch Air force
Type air force
Role Protection of the Country
Size 5 Albatros-Fokker
Headquarter Tiranë
Engagements Italian Invasion of Albania
Disbanded 1939

The Royal Albanian Air Corps (Albanian: Forcat Mbretërore të Aviacionit) was from 1928 till 1939 and was part of the Royal Albanian Army.

Structure

Albanian law provided for the creation of an air arm with 3 reconnaissance aircraft, 3 spare engines and 39 officers and men; this may be "left over" from 1913, when Albania had ordered three Löhner "B" biplanes. Time magazine's April 17, 1939 article on the invasion reported that Albania possessed two aircraft, and at least one internet source says there were two trainers in service. In 1931, 1934 and 1937 King Zog had ordered the creation of an air force, but civil unrest had each time prevented this. During the Thirties several Albanian officers had received flight training in Italy, including a nephew of Zog who was a flying cadet at the Italian aeronautical academy at Caserta .

Photographs exist of an Albatros C.XV aircraft after delivery to Albania c. 1922, and according to a posting on an internet forum, 5 "Albatros-Fokker" aircraft were delivered at that time. A German aircraft site lists five Albatros L45 (C.XV converted to a civil aircraft) but does not mention a customer. If these were in fact for Albania it is understandable that they would be delivered as civil aircraft, Germany at that time being forbidden to export military equipment. Two L45 could very well still have been on strength as late as April 1939, putatively for an airmail service.

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