Central Flying School

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Central Flying School
CFS
Active 12 May 1912–present
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Branch RAF roundel.svg Royal Air Force
Type Training
Role RAF flying training
Size 100 personnel
Garrison/HQ

RAF Upavon, Wiltshire England 1912–46
RAF Little Rissington, Gloucestershire England 1946–1976
RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire England 1983–95

RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire England 1995–
Nickname RAF CFS
Motto Imprimis Praecepta (Latin: Our teaching is everlasting)
Commanders
Commandant Group Captain Jamie Hunter

The Central Flying School (CFS) is the Royal Air Force's primary institution for the training of military flying instructors. Established in 1912 it is the longest existing flying training school.

History[edit]

It was established at Upavon Aerodrome, near Upavon, Wiltshire on 12 May 1912.[citation needed] It was later based at RAF Little Rissington, from 1946 to 1976. The CFS's first commandant was Captain Godfrey Paine RN. It has been responsible for instructor training since 1920, with pilot training being delegated to the Flying Training Schools.

When the Red Arrows, the RAF's sole aerobatic team was formed by amalgamation of other teams, the responsibility was transferred to the CFS from Fighter Command. The Red Arrows moved to RAF Scampton in 1983 when the CFS was moved there and out in 1995– though the Red Arrows returned in 2000.

Helicopter training[edit]

Helicopter instruction began in 1955 on the Westland Dragonfly and Bristol Sycamore at RAF South Cerney in Gloucestershire. It moved to RAF Ternhill in August 1961. From 1966, the Westland-built Sioux helicopter began service, lasting until 1973, when replaced with the Aérospatiale Gazelle, much more reminiscent of modern-day helicopters. In 1997 the Gazelle was replaced by the Squirrel (Eurocopter AS350), and the Griffin (Bell 412) is also used. RAF Shawbury has been the home of the helicopter training school since 1977, becoming the Defence Helicopter Flying School 1997. A satellite unit of the CFS is maintained at RAF Shawbury to train and develop helicopter instructors.

Aircraft[edit]

Folland Gnat advanced trainer of the Central Flying School at RAF Little Rissington in 1967
Gloster Meteor T.7 of the CFS at RAF Coltishall in 1969
Tucano

During the 1950s the CFS was equipped with the Gloster Meteor. In 1977 the Folland Gnat T.1 was replaced as the CFS main advanced jet trainer by the Hawk.

From 1993 the Tucano took the place of the BAC Jet Provost, and in 2000 the Tutor replaced the Bulldog as the initial trainer operated by the unit.

Training[edit]

Grob Tutor

Suitable pilots are trained as Qualified Flying Instructor (QFIs) on the Grob Tutor and the Beechcraft King Air at RAF College Cranwell. Tucano QFIs are trained by CFS personnel at RAF Linton-on-Ouse and Hawk QFIs are trained by similar personnel at RAF Valley. Helicopter instructors, both pilots and rearcrew, are trained at RAF Shawbury, home of the Defence Helicopter Flying School.

Flying instructors are awarded the Qualified Flying Instructor qualification for fixed-wing types. Helicopter instructors are referred to as Qualified Helicopter Instructors (QHI) or Qualified Crewman Instructors (QCI).

Commandants[edit]

Central Flying School staff in January 1913

Ranks given are the highest rank the officer in command held during his tenure.

1912 to 1919[edit]

1919 to 1920 (as Commandant, Flying Instructors' School)[edit]

1920 to 1944[edit]

1946 to present[edit]

Assistant Commandants[edit]

Notable former instructors[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
Bibliography
  • Taylor, John W R (1987) [1958]. Central Flying School, Birthplace of Air Power. Jane's Publishing. ISBN 0-7106-0486-6. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°01′53″N 0°29′36″W / 53.0314°N 0.4934°W / 53.0314; -0.4934