|Near Cranwell, Lincolnshire in England|
|Area||700 hectares (1,700 acres)|
|Owner||Ministry of Defence|
|Operator||Royal Air Force|
|Controlled by||No. 22 Group (Training)|
|In use||1916–1918 (Royal Naval Air Service)|
1918 – present (Royal Air Force)
|Group Captain Joanne Campbell|
|Identifiers||ICAO: EGYD, WMO: 03379|
|Elevation||67.7 metres (222 ft) AMSL|
|Source: UK MIL AIP Cranwell|
Royal Air Force Cranwell or more simply RAF Cranwell (ICAO: EGYD) is a Royal Air Force station in Lincolnshire, England, close to the village of Cranwell, near Sleaford. Among other functions, it is home to the Royal Air Force College (RAFC), which trains the RAF's new officers and Aircrew. The motto, Altium Altrix, meaning "Nurture the highest" appears above the main doors of the Officers Mess. RAF Cranwell is currently commanded by Group Captain Joanne Campbell.
The history of military aviation at Cranwell goes back to November 1915, when the Admiralty requisitioned 2,500 acres (10 km2) of land from the Marquess of Bristol's estate. On 1 April 1916, the "Royal Naval Air Service Training Establishment, Cranwell" was officially born.
With the establishment of the Royal Air Force as an independent service in 1918, the RNAS Training Establishment became RAF Cranwell. The Royal Air Force College Cranwell was formed on 1 November 1919 as the RAF (Cadet) College.
Role and operations
Royal Air Force College
Cranwell is home to the Royal Air Force College (RAFC), which overseas all RAF phase 1 Training. The RAF Officer Training Academy (RAFOTA) is the sub organisation of the RAFC which trains the RAFs new officers on a 24-week modularised initial officer training course (MIOTC), after which they are dispersed to their Phase II training for specific branch instruction. It is thus the RAF equivalent of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst or the Britannia Royal Naval College.
Headquarters Central Flying School
No. 3 Flying Training School
Cranwell is home to the headquarters of No. 3 Flying Training School (No. 3 FTS). The school provides elementary flying training for fixed wing and multi-engine student pilots from the RAF and Fleet Air Arm through No. 57 (Reserve) Squadron and No. 703 Naval Air Squadron. The UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) operates the Grob Prefect T1 in this role. Although nominally based at Cranwell, elementary training largely takes place at nearby RAF Barkston Heath. After elementary training, aircrews streamed to fly multi-engine aircraft and rear-seat roles are trained by No. 45(R) Squadron, which operate five Embraer Phenom 100.
On 16 January 2018, the Skyes Building was opened at Cranwell by Air Marshal Sean Reynolds, the Deputy Commander Capability and Senior Responsible Owner of the UKMFTS. The building acts as a UKMFTS operational support building and is used to train new RAF pilots. It was named after Air-Vice Marshal Sir Frederick Hugh Sykes, a British military officer and politician who served during the First World War.
The following notable flying and non-flying units are based at RAF Cranwell.
Royal Air Force
- No. 22 Group (Training) RAF
- RAF College Cranwell
- Royal Air Force Officer Training Academy (RAF OTA)
- Recruiting and Selection
- Tedder Academy
- Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering (DCAE)
- Officer Training
- Central Flying School
- Central Flying School Headquarters
- No. 3 Flying Training School
- No. 6 Flying Training School
- RAF College Cranwell
- Royal Air Force Air Cadets Headquarters
- No. 2 Group (Air Combat Support) RAF
- No. 38 Group (Air Combat Service Support) RAF
- RAF Music Services
- The Band of the Royal Air Force College
- The Band of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force
- RAF Music Services
- RAF Air Warfare Centre
- Air Warfare School
- Other RAF Units
- RAF Disclosures
- RAF Cranwell Flying Club
- Cranwell Gliding Club
- List of Royal Air Force stations
- Cranwell Light Aeroplane Club
- RAF Harlaxton – satellite airfield of Cranwell during the 1940s and 1950s
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- Phillips-Evans, J. The Longcrofts: 500 Years of a British Family (Amazon, 2012)
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- Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore. 1981. Action Stations Vol.2: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands ISBN 978-1-85260-405-9
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