Unit History: Flying Training School
Stationed since 1960 at RAF Valley, Anglesey, this Unit is today the only advanced RAF Flying Training School for fast-jet pilots and is thus the sole source of newly-trained pilots for the Jet OCUs. The School is proud of its heritage, having already been recorded in the pages of RAF history for its defeat of an organised army: in 1941, using obsolete aircraft flown by inexperienced pilots, the Unit defeated a revolutionary army in Iraq: surely a unique achievement for a training school.
Between 1935 and 1936, as part of the RAF expansion scheme, the School underwent major changes in its organisation and equipment. Under the new 2-stage system of RAF training, civil schools were utilised to provide the ab initio stage of flying training, and the FTSs were reorganised so as to concentrate purely on the more advanced Service flying training. At
No 4 FTS the course-length was reduced to 6 months, with an intake of pupils every 3 months, and the School was re-equipped with the newly-available Service aircraft. From April 1935 the Avro 504s of ‘B’ Flight were replaced with Avro Tutors and 3 months later, on 11 July, ‘E’ Flight was formed, also with Tutors. ‘C’ and ‘D’ Flights of the Advanced Training Squadron were rearmed with Hawker Audax and Hart (T) aircraft to replace the AW Atlas in the Army cooperation role; and in April 1936 the School’s last 13 Avro 504s were returned to the Aircraft Depot in exchange for Tutors.
Memories of Flying Training School
(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)
Flying Training School, R.A.F.Manby in 1959
Written by Colin Kay
I used to travel, every day, by motorcycle, to R.A.F. Strubby for the purpose of ensuring the safety of ejection seats when Canberra aircraft returned from sorties. It became very boring sitting in a line hut all day just waiting for the aircraft to return.