This is an old - not maintained - article of the AEIOU.
In the Austria-Forum you find an updated version of this article in the new AEIOU.
Air Force: At the beginning of the first World War the imperial army had 16 squadrons with only 39 operational aircraft. By the summer of 1918, 74 fighter squadrons and 4 bombing squadrons with approximately 900 aircraft had been formed under an airforce command. Reconnaissance, fighting and bombing missions were carried out in large numbers on all fronts until the end of the war in 1918. The imperial Navy also had their own air force (a glider corps from April 1917). Balloons were mainly used for the observation of artillery.
The peace treaty of Saint-Germain prohibited the Republic of Austria from maintaining an air force. Members of the army were not allowed to fly until 1927, later secret training courses were held at the flying school of Graz-Thalerhof. On June 1, 1935 the air force was organised under the command of Major General A. Löhr. By March 1938 the air force had approximately 50 fighting airplanes, 10 bombers, 20 reconnaissance airplanes and 100 training and communication aircraft.
By September 1955 a department for the establishment of air forces of the Federal Armed Forces of the 2nd Republic had already been set up in the Office for National Defence. At first the air force was equipped with Soviet aircraft, by 1966 it had become a small, but effective airforce unit, which was particularly organised for cooperation with the armed forces.
While jet combat planes were supplied by Sweden from 1961 (SAAB J 29 "Flying Tun", SAAB 105), the helicopter squadrons were equipped with French and American types (Alouette II, III; Agusta Bell 204, 206, 212). The first interceptors were not purchased until 1985 (24 SAAB J 35 "Draken").
On July 1, 1973 the air force units were dissolved in the course of an army reform; after a transition period during which the air force was commanded by the air brigade, an air division was set up on July 1, 1975.
Literature: W. Hainzl and E. Hauke, Die Fliegerkräfte Österreichs 1955 bis heute, 1987.