Norfolk and Suffolk Wing Air Cadets

Flying And Gliding


Flying And Gliding

Joining the Air Cadets opens up lots of opportunities, including the chance to fly! It’s our aim to get you airborne as often as possible, as a passenger in a light aircraft, a glider or even on-board RAF aircraft such as our Typhoon fast-jet or a Chinook helicopter.

Imagine floating along thermal air currents with just the sound of wind rushing past your aircraft, or flying at over 2,000ft in the air doing barrel rolls and loop the loops! It’s a buzz, and one of the biggest reasons our cadets join up

As a cadet you’ll have the chance to fly with the best – RAF pilots. Air Experience Flight (AEF) instructors are all current or former RAF service pilots who volunteer to pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm for flying to you. Flying takes place at one of 12 AEFs around the country, mainly at RAF stations. You’re shown how the aircraft flies and given the chance to control it and experience aerobatics. 

To help you ensure you get the best instruction possible cadets can work their way through the Flying & Gliding Progressive Training System.  This begins with training on the PTT (Part Task Trainer) at 611 VGS (Volunteer Ground School) at Swanton Morley   where cadets can gain their Blue & Bronze Wings, once complete they can then aim to get their Silver Wings by completing an Air Experience Flight at one one the RAF Stations.

The aircraft

The aircraft we use allow your first steps to flying to be totally exhilarating. They’re an integral part of the cadet experience, designed to get you trained, confident and ready for solo flying. If you have a talent for flying we’ll spot it.  Before you’re cleared for takeoff, get to know the aircraft;

The grob tutor t1

The Grob 115E is better known as the Grob Tutor and it is the aircraft used for Elementary Flying Training for all 3 of the services as well as the Air Cadets.

It is a simple aircraft to fly, yet is demanding enough to test any budding pilots.  The instructor sits beside the cadet to ensure maximum interaction and support in the air, whilst its large canopy provides an excellent outside view for flying.


The Viking T1

Providing most cadets’ first piece of airborne action, the Grob G103A Twin II Acro – better known as the Viking T1 – is a modern, high performance two-seat glider. It’s perfectly suited to seat you and your instructor. It’s even used to train instructors themselves at our Volunteer Gliding Squadrons (VGS) around the country.

The Viking has no engine and the main method of getting airborne is via a winch-launch – a cool experience in its own right.  The height you reach depends on wind strength at the time, but a winch-launch flight normally lasts around 5 minutes. In warmer months the pilot can use thermals (warm rising air) to stay aloft for longer periods of time – circling to gain height.

Pilot schemes

There are several scholarships available to air cadets each year. These are sponsored by the Royal Aero Club, the Air League Educational Trust, the RAF Charitable Trust, the Geoffrey DeHaviland Foundation, Babcock Defence Services, the RAF Association and the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators.

For many cadets these courses are the stepping stone to their PPL – Private Pilots’ Licence – and potentially a career as a pilot with the RAF, the Royal Navy, Army or commercial airlines.

Some cadets achieve their PPLs before they even get their driving licence, so the sky really is the limit!

The Air Cadet Pilot Scheme

For cadets that are genuinely interested in a high-flying career, there is also the opportunity to apply for a place on the Air Cadet Pilot Schemes, available to air cadets each year at Tayside Aviation in Dundee?

To apply you’ll need to show an aptitude and enthusiasm for flying, then you will need to attend a Scholarship Briefing Day run by Central & East Region, and finally complete a application form.

Air Cadet Pilot Navigation Scheme

Want to wear the coveted pilot navigation badge? You could be one of up to 30 cadets that win a place each year on the Air Cadet Pilot Navigation Scheme – run at Air Experience Flights. The entry criteria for applicants is the same as the Pilot Scheme. It’s a great chance to really expand your knowledge of aviation navigation.

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