In the beginning, Swiss politicians were not impressed by the Wright brothers' first powered flight achievement of December 1903. In 1911, the Swiss federal council rejected the subsidization of airfields and opposed all further plans for the development of military aviation.
At the delegates’ meeting of December 1st, 1912 in Fribourg, the Swiss officers' society SOG decided, however, to launch a national fund raising to procure aircraft and establish a military airforce. It’s result secured a total of CHF 1'728'516.00, which was a substantial amount, considering a population of 3'199'706. In 1916/1917, the military department decided to apply this fund to procure aircraft, 14 additional aircraft engines as well as aircraft spare parts adding to the total amount of CHF 866’000.00. In addition, a hangar was built in Dübendorf.
Up to the mobilization of WWI, the Swiss army was not equipped with a military airforce. On July 31, 1914, captain of the military general staff, Theodor Real was appointed head of the intelligence office and tasked with establishing his own airforce. Luckily, corporal Oskar Bider, who was immediately drafted for duty, was acquainted with an array of pilots who owned their own aircraft. Bider himself enlisted with his own Blériot XI b.
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