Inter-War

By 1938 pupil pilots attended two-month, civilian-run, elementary training courses at an Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School. They learnt aviation theory and logged 55 hours flying (with an average of 29 dual and 26 solo).

Candidates selected for commissioning were sent to the RAF Depot at Uxbridge for two weeks' officer training. Serving airmen training as pilots went directly to an RAF Flying Training School (FTS).

RAF Standard Syllabus for Civil and Service Flying Training Schools, July 1938

RAF Standard Syllabus for Civil and
Service Flying Training Schools, July 1938

The course at a Service-run FTS lasted six months and covered both intermediate and advanced training. Students could expect to log about 90 hours airborne (with an average of 25 dual and 65 solo) and were taught night, formation and instrument flying, navigation and gunnery. At the end of the course students received their Pilot's Wings and were selected for training to fly fighters or heavier types of aircraft.

Having qualified as pilots, further training was undertaken with operational units.

RAF training pathway for pilots, early 1938