LVII Squadron

Delivers elementary flying training under the UK Military Flying Training System.

I change my body, not my spirit.


  • 57 Sqn delivers elementary flying training which is the first stage of military flying training
    from RAF College Cranwell
  •  57 Sqn Instructors are a mixture of military and civilian pilots from a wide variety of
  • Trainees undertake a short common phase of flying and simulation where they are taught
    basic aircraft handling, pilot navigation, instrument and low flying
  • During this phase they complete their ‘first solo’ flight on Prefect - often their first flight ever
    on their own
  • Upon completion of the common phase of the course trainees are streamed to continue
    training as either Combat Air, Multi-engine or Rotary Wing pilots.
  • Those bound for Combat Air and Multi-engine complete further training on 57 Squadron, including formation and more advanced navigation. Students streamed for Rotary Wing progress directly to RAF Shawbury


1916 – 57 Sqn was originally formed at Copmanthorpe in Yorkshire as a flying training squadron
flying Avro 504s and B.E.2s, before moving to France in December of that year as a bomber unit. At
the time that 57 Squadron was sent to France, 57 Training Squadron was activated in Egypt and
operated until 1918, the two numbers running concurrently.

1919 - Returned to the UK and was disbanded.

1931 - Reactivated as a day bomber unit.

1943 - Supplied the majority of the crews to 617 Squadron (The Dambusters) which stood up at RAF
Scampton, where 57 was based.

1951 - Began operating the B-29 Superfortress bomber on loan from the USAF.

1982 - Supplied crews and aircraft to perform air to air refuelling supporting the long range Vulcan
raids during the Falklands War.

2008 - Reformed at RAF Wyton flying the Grob Tutor T1.

2018 - Converted to Prefect T1 at RAF Cranwell.

Battle honours

Western Front 1916–1918*


France & Low Countries 1939–1940*

Norway 1940*

Channel & North Sea 1940*

Ruhr 1941–1943*

Fortress Europe 1941–1944

Berlin 1941–1943*


 France & Germany 1944–1945*

South Atlantic 1982

(Honours marked with an asterisk, are emblazoned on the Squadron Standard)


Please contact the home station Media Communications team for more information or to contact the Squadron

Media enquiries details for RAF College Cranwell

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