Aviation => General Aviation => Topic started by: HERB COLLECTOR on October 14, 2017, 20:45:41

Title: No. 1 Air Experience Flight RAF. 1958 to 1996
Post by: HERB COLLECTOR on October 14, 2017, 20:45:41
The Air Experience Flights, thirteen in total across the UK, were formed in 1958 to provide introductory flying to cadets in the Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Forces. Less often they were used by the Girls Venture Corps and the Air Scouts. From 1958 to 1996, when the AEF's were merged with the University Air Squadrons, the Flights were equipped with the de Havilland Canada Chipmunk T. Mk 10 trainer. The UAS's Scottish Aviation Bulldogs were used from 1996 until they in turn were replaced by the Grob Tutor T.1 from 1999. In March 2016 the AEF's and the UAS's were again separated.

No. 1 AEF was formed at RAF Biggin Hill on the 8th September 1958. It moved to RAF White Waltham, then to RAF West Malling before finally settling at RAF Manston in 1963. On the 31st March 1996 the Flight moved to RAF St Athan. The Flight had four chipmunks and a typical flight would last 30 minutes.
A more detailed account, by one of the Flights pilots, can be read @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._1_Air_Experience_Flight_RAF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._1_Air_Experience_Flight_RAF)
Flight 360 ATC Air Experience Flight briefing, shot at No. 6 AEF at RAF Abington 1979. http://youtube.com/watch?v=quAzZbNEX98 (http://youtube.com/watch?v=quAzZbNEX98)
List of the Flights Chipmunks @ http://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/412255-raf-chipmunks.html (http://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/412255-raf-chipmunks.html)

My first flight in a Chipmunk (WD344) was on the 22nd April 1967. Two days previous a British Eagle Bristol Britannia, flying from Heathrow to Kuwait, had had undercarriage problems and had landed on a foam runway at Manston. There were no fatalities but the aircraft was a write-off. In the centre of the room where we were waiting for our flights was a large oil drum. Every now and then a bod would come in, smile, and drop a piece of wreckage into the drum.
Title: Re: No. 1 Air Experience Flight RAF. 1958 to 1996
Post by: grandarog on October 14, 2017, 22:56:19
The RAF was doing air experience flights for serving airmen long before they were available for cadet organisations, using Ansons and Chipmunks. :)
Title: Re: No. 1 Air Experience Flight RAF. 1958 to 1996
Post by: Dave Smith on October 16, 2017, 12:27:17
I had air experience in the ATC ( 213 City of Rochester) at Summer camp, R.A.F. Feltwell 1946, in a Dominie. At Halton in the late 40's, we apprentices all had a flight in an Anson (probably the same one as grandarog?), hand pumping the u/c up! During our last year ('49) we were all taken up for 40 minutes with the Sqdn. Commander (a S/Ldr., DFC, ex BoB pilot) in a Tiger Moth-well before Chipmunks-who, of course let us " you have control " for 10 minutes or so; fantastic!