The Station

RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire was the world’s first Air Academy and today, it continues to select and train the next generation of RAF officers.

Additionally, it is home to RAF Recruitment, RAF Air Cadets, No 3 and No 6 Flying Training Schools, Central Flying School, Air Warfare School, the Tedder Leadership Academy and Robson Academy and the Band of the RAF College.

"Nurture the highest"


Group Captain Tina Jessup MSc MA BSc (Hons) RAF (Air Ops Systems – Flt Ops)

Group Captain Tina Jessup took command of RAF Cranwell in January 2023.  Prior to this she completed staff roles at RAF Air Command, as the Director for Battlespace Management Support and Head of Organisation Governance.

Group Captain Jessup joined the RAF in 2001 and is an Air Operations (Systems) Officer whose service has principally been in the Fast Jet, Air Mobility and Joint Environment.

Who's based here

Where we parent

Key dates

  • 1918 - Flying training began at RAF Cranwell with the formation of the RAF.
  • 1920 - The RAF College was established at RAF Cranwell.
  • 1934 - College Hall opened
  • 1941 - The first Gloster Whittle Jet (E28/39) flew from RAF Cranwell under great secrecy. 
  • 1960s - Technical training, previously undertaken at RAF Henlow merged with training at RAF Cranwell. 
  • 1971 - Prince Charles started his RAF flying training at RAF Cranwell on the jet Provost.


Sir Hugh Trenchard (first Chief of the Air Staff) established the RAF College at RAF Cranwell on 5 February 1920. This assisted with the consolidation of the RAF’s position as a single and independent Service. 

During the 1930s the College Hall Officers' Mess was completed (1933) and College Hall was opened in 1934 by the then Prince of Wales, Prince Edward.

Many types of training aircraft operated at Cranwell over the years including the SE8, Tiger Moth, Gladiator, Bulldog, Tutor, DH Chipmunk, Dominie, Jetstream and KingAir.

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