Danish Naval Air Service

Operator Profile


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

National Markings
Danish Naval Air Service

    This section describes and illustrates the various national insignia used by the Danish Naval Air Service since its formation:

    Main MarkingFin Flash

    Before 1939 the standard aircraft finish was natural metal or silver dope overall with the the serial number on the fuselage sides and a fin flash large enough to extend from the fin to the rudder. The main marking was displayed in 4 positions (i.e. above and below each wing). After the introduction of camouflage in 1939 the markings were largely unchaged.

All-Time Aircraft Used List
Danish Naval Air Service

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Avro 504K 6 1920 1928 UK
Avro 504N 6 1925 1936 UK
Avro 621 Tutor 6 1932 1940 UK
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 1 1949 1950 Army
Curtiss Seagull 1 1919 1921 USA
Dansk Aero Babyfalk 1 1949 1950 Denmark
Dansk Aero 2G 3 1949 1950 Denmark
de Havilland D.H.60G Gipsy Moth 2 1928 1931 UK
de Havilland D.H.60 Moth 3 1931 1940 UK
de Havilland D.H.89 Dragon Rapide 1 1940 1940 UK
Donnet-Leveque Type A 2 1913 1915 France
Dornier Do F2 Wal 1 1938 1940 Germany
Henri Farman Kopi 1 1912 1913 Denmark
Maurice Farman ?? 1 1917 1917 France
Friedrichshafen FF 29 1 1917 1917 Germany
Friedrichshafen FF 49 7 1919 1926 Germany
Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 16 1919 1931 Germany
Hawker Danecock 15 1926 1936 UK
Hawker Dantorp 2 1933 1940 UK
Hawker Nimrod I 2 1934 1940 UK
Hawker Nimrod II 10 1934 1940 UK
Heinkel He 8 22 1928 1940 Germany
North American Harvard IIB 4 1946 1959 Canada
Orlogsvaerftet F.B. II 8 1914 1919 Denmark
Orlogsvaerftet F.B. III 10 1915 1920 Denmark
Orlogsvaerftet F.B. IV 2 1917 1921 Denmark
Orlogsvaerftet F.B. V 3 1919 1921 Denmark
Orlogsvaerftet H.B. I 4 1918 1924 Denmark
SAI KZ-IIS 4 1940 1940 Denmark
SAI KZ-III 2 1946 1950 Denmark
Supermarine Nanok 1 1927 1927 UK
Supermarine Sea Otter I 7 1946 1950 UK

Additionanal information is welcome