Aircraftman

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Aircraftman (AC) or aircraftwoman (ACW)[1][2] is the lowest rank in the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the air forces of several other Commonwealth countries.

Aircraftman ranks below leading aircraftman and has a NATO rank code of OR-1. It is now a training rank only and no airmen in productive service hold this rank. Aircraftmen do not wear any rank insignia.

History[edit]

The rank was introduced on the formation of the RAF in 1918, replacing the Royal Flying Corps rank of air mechanic 2nd class. There were two grades: Aircraftman 1st class (AC1) and aircraftman 2nd class (AC2; also colloquially known as an "AC plonk").[citation needed]

Royal Air Force[edit]

In RAF slang, aircraftmen are sometimes called "erks".

Royal Australian Air Force[edit]

The Royal Australian Air Force also uses both aircraftman and aircraftwoman.

Royal New Zealand Air Force[edit]

In the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the rank is known as "aircraftman", regardless of the person's sex, in line with "seaman" in the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ RAF website
  2. ^ The spellings "aircraftsman" and "aircraftswoman", despite being occasionally seen even in official documents, are incorrect in any air force.

See also[edit]