Danish Naval Air Service

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Marinens Flyvevæsen
English Title:
Danish Naval Air Service
First Established:
ICAO Code:


Narrative Summary

Danish naval officers began training as pilots at private flying schools in late 1911. In 1912 an aircraft was donated to the Danish Navy, allowing the establishment of an aviation unit. Denmark was neutral in WW1 and so was unable to obtain aircraft from abroad. Instead, the Naval Shipyard was tasked with supplying the service with flying boats. After WW1 the aviation unit was able to expand and in 1923 became an independent branch of the navy.

With the growing risk of a European war, a re-equipment programme was belatedly launched in 1938, but came too late for any of the ordered aircraft to be delivered. When Nazi Germany invaded in April 1940 the naval air service did not resist. The German occupiers prohibited all military flying and so the naval aircraft were dismantled and stored in a hangar. In 1943 these aircraft were set on fire in an act of sabotage, to prevent the Germans from taking them into service.

After the liberation of Denmark in 1945 the naval air service was re-established, but did not have any aircraft until late 1946 when a number of aircraft from Britain were received. In 1950 the naval air service was merged with the army air arm to form the Royal Danish Air Force.

Key Dates

14 December 1911    First naval officers begin pilot training
25 March 1912    First aircraft received
20 April 1915    First purpose-built naval air station opened
15 September 1923    Independent naval air service created
9 April 1940    German invasion of Denmark
April 1940    Naval air service disbanded by German occupiers
22 November 1943    Stored naval aircraft destroyed by sabotage
December 1946    Naval air service re-established
1 November 1950    Army and Navy air arms merged to form the Royal Danish Air Force

Current Status

Not applicable.

Future Plans

Not applicable.


National Insignia


Aircraft Serial Numbers

MF aircraft were assigned individual names.

MF aircraft Wwere given two or three-digit numerical serial numbers ranging between 1 and 242, e.g. Hawker Dantorp 202. These numbers were allocated in a sequence based on the aircrsaft’s main role:

1-99 for seaplane reconnaissance aircraft
101-149 for landplane trainers
151-200 for fighters
201+ for torpedo-bombers

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designations

Aircraft type codes were assigned from 1921 onwards. These consisted of two letters and a roman number, e.g. H.B.III for the Hawker Dantorp. The first letter indicated flying boat (F), floatplane (H) or landplane (L). The second letter indicated biplane (B) or monoplane (M). The roman number indicated the chronological order in the class, so the H.B.III was the third type of floatplane biplane acquired.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

12 Fairey P.4/34 light bombers were ordered for manufacture under licence by the Orlogsvaerftet, and 12 Macchi MC.200 fighters were ordered. None were completed by the time of the German invasion in 9 April 1940.


Main Headquarters

NAS Copenhagen, Margretheholm.

Organisational Structure

By 1940 the MF was organised into two Air Flotilla (squadrons), and the Naval Flying School.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

1. Luftflotille
2. Luftflotille

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The main air bases were NAS Copenhagen, Margretheholm and NAS Avno, South Zealand. A further minor base was at NAS Slipshavn on Funen.

Aircraft-Carrying Ships

To be added.

More Information


Danish Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.


To be added.


wikipedia: Royal Danish Navy

Naval Aviation

Danish Air Force, Danish Army Air Corps and Royal Danish Naval Aviation

Order of Battle – Royal Danish Navy 8 April 1940

wikipedia: Marinens Flyvevaesen

The History of Danish Military Aircraft

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