A key element of No 22 (Training) Group is the Flying Training (FT) branch. This provides a wide range of courses that train officers and Non-commissioned Aircrew (NCA) to the high standards needed when flying on modern operations.
FT utilise a wide range of aircraft from the light, single-engine Grob Tutor designed for Elementary Flying Training (EFT) through to more advanced training aircraft such as the twin-engine turboprop Beechcraft King Air or the advanced jet trainer the BAe Hawk T2. These enable FT to provide first-class courses covering everything from the fundamental skills of flying through to the successful operation of complex systems.
Operating from 5 major airfields around the UK, with 6 smaller satellite airfields in support, FT trains aircrew from all three services to a point where they are equipped with the skills to convert to front-line aircraft.
Covering all the RAF's training requirement for Pilots and Non-Commissioned Aircrew, the FT system also provides training for Royal Navy Fast Jet trainees and is responsible for the tri-Service Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) at RAF Shawbury, which trains all the Services' helicopter pilots. In addition, Air Experience flying for the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) and University Air Squadrons (UAS) are provided by FT's Grob Tutor aircraft.
After completing Initial Officer Training (IOT) at the RAF College Cranwell, pilot training begins on the single-engine Grob Tutor with Elementary Flying Training (EFT). First, student pilots are taught subjects such as the principles of flight, aircraft tech and meteorology during a ground-school phase. Then they are taught essential flying skills such as taking off and landing, followed by more advanced skills such as instrument flying (which allows them to fly in cloud), aerobatics (which accustom them to flying an aircraft to its limits), formation flying and navigation.
Following EFT, student pilots are streamed into Fast Jet, Multi-Engined, or Rotary Wing (helicopter) pipelines, where they are trained in the skills required for each area.
View training pipelines (showing the progression for each of the areas described above):