Take to the Sky

Joining the Air Cadets opens up lots of opportunities, including the chance to fly! It’s our aim to get you airborne as often as possible, as a passenger in a light aircraft, a glider or even on-board RAF aircraft such as a Typhoon fast-jet or a Chinook helicopter.

Most cadet flying is carried out with one of the RAF Air Experience Flights spread across the country. These regular flying opportunities are specifically to give cadets the hands-on experience of flying in an aircraft. The AEFs share a fleet of Grob Tutor aircraft with the RAFs University Air Squadrons which are operated by a private company. However, the pilots are very experienced and all are either currently serving or former military pilots. This gives the cadets the best possible experience, being instructed in how to fly a real aircraft by an experienced instructor. During these flights the cadets do not just sit back and enjoy the ride, they will be fully involved. In their first few flights they will be shown the basic controls of the aircraft, turning, climbing and descending. The cadet will actually take control of the aircraft for some of the flight which normally lasts about 30 minutes. Cadets can also experience the thrill of aerobatics, if they want to.

Vigliant GliderGliding in the Air Cadets is carried out at one of the many Volunteer Gliding Squadrons (VGS) dotted around the country. As the name suggests these are run by volunteers, who are a mixture of RAFVR(T) officers, ATC Adult NCOs, Civilian Gliding Instructors and some serving military personnel. 1075 Squadron is flown by No 618 VGS at RAF Odiham in the Grob Vigilant T1 motor glider.

Cadets over 16 get the opportunity to apply for both gliding and flying scholarships, allowing them to earn their wings. You could go solo before you've passed your driving test!


Get your Wings!

The gliding scholarship is aimed at cadets over 16 years old. The training is more advanced than the GIC with cadets instructed in the core skills of a glider pilot. Cadets completing the course receive the blue GS wings.

Gliding Scholarship - Solo
Cadets on the gliding scholarship who show aptitude for further training and a strong motivation for gliding will be invited for more training to allow them to go solo. Any cadet completing a solo flight will receive the silver solo wings.

Advanced Gliding Training
After completing the GS to solo standard it is possible for cadets to go on to do the advanced course. It is aimed at cadets that show an ambition to either join the RAF or the VGS as a staff member. The AGT consists of 3 stages, the first two stages completed at the VGS and the third at the central gliding school. During the AGT cadets will learn advanced gliding techniques including soaring

Glider Pilot Wings
Some cadets can go on to receive enough training to be awarded their glider pilot wings. These are normally cadets who have joined the gliding school as staff cadets. However, these wings are more commonly seen on adult staff.

Pilot Navigation
Cadets can also apply for a Pilot Navigation course. This course involves ten days at an air experience flight, where the cadet will learn how to plan routes and navigate in the air.

Air Cadet Pilot Scheme
Each year there are a number of oppurtunities for Air Cadets over 16 to apply for a flying scholarship. This course typically involves 10 hours flying training at Tayside Avaition in Scotland, although other scholarships are available such as the RAF Flying Scholarship.