The Phillip and Powis Miles Kestrel first flew in 1937 but it was rejected by the British Air Ministry. The improved Phillip and Powis Miles Master had an order for 500 placed in 1938, which was the biggest order at the time for an Royal Air Force (RAF) trainer. The Master became the standard advanced trainer for the RAF during World War II.
The Master had a low wing and was made primarily from wood. The landing gear of the Master was retractable.