When was No.1 Flying Training School formed?
- On 23 December 1919, 1 FTS was officially formed by renaming the Netheravon Flying School, which had been formed on 29 July 1919 at Netheravon in Wiltshire, England, out of the 2nd incarnation of No. 8 Training Squadron, which in its turn had been formed on 15 May 1919 out of No. 8 Training Depot Station, all at Netheravon.
History First formation (1919 – 1928) On 23 December 1919, 1 FTS was officially formed by renaming the Netheravon Flying School, which had been formed on 29 July 1919 at Netheravon in Wiltshire, England, out of the 2nd incarnation of No. 8 Training Squadron, which in its turn had been formed on 15 May 1919 out of No. 8 Training Depot Station, all at Netheravon.
- Early Years
- World War II
- Cold War
No. 1 Flying Training School (No. 1 FTS) was the first unit to be formally established as part of the new Australian Air Force on 31 March 1921 (the term "Royal" was added in August that year). No. 1 FTS was formed from the remnants of Australia's original military flying unit, Central Flying School, at RAAF Point Cook, Victoria. Squadron Leader William Anderson, who was also in charge of the Point Cook base, was No. 1 FTS's first commanding officer.The school's initial complement of staff was twelve officers and 67 airmen. In December 1921, the Australian Air Board prepared to form its first five squadrons and allocate aircraft to each, as well as to the nascent flying school. The plan was for No. 1 FTS to receive twelve Avro 504Ks and four Sopwith Pups, and the squadrons a total of eight Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5s, eight Airco DH.9s, and three Fairey IIIs. Funding problems forced the Air Force to disband the newly raised squadrons on 1 July 1922 and re-form them as flights in a...
RAAF flying training was heavily reorganised soon after the outbreak of World War II, in response to Australia's participation in the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS). Several elementary flying training schools were formed, to provide basic flight instruction to cadets; more advanced pilot instruction was to take place at service flying training schools. On 1 May 1940, No. 1 FTS was re-formed at Point Cook as No. 1 Service Flying Training School (No. 1 SFTS). Its inaugural commanding officer was Group Captain John Summers, who led Fighter Squadron in the early 1930s and had taken over No. 1 FTS in December 1939. The school's Instructors' Training Squadron was detached to become the nucleus of a re-formed Central Flying School, which relocated to Camden, New South Wales, in June.Courses at the service flying training schools consisted of two streams, intermediate and advanced; the total duration varied during the war as demand for aircrew fluctuated. Initially running for sixteen we...
On 1 March 1946, No. 5 Service Flying Training School at RAAF Station Uranquinty, New South Wales, was re-formed as No. 1 FTS, under Southern Area Command. Its complement of aircraft included one Anson, two Tiger Moths, and 55 Wirraways, though the unit was mainly responsible for the maintenance of equipment and little flying was undertaken apart from refresher courses for pilots posting to the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan. By 1 September 1947, No. 1 FTS had transferred to Point Cook, initially as "Flying Training School", under Wing Commander Read. The RAAF's first post-war flying training course at the school consisted of 42 students and commenced in February 1948, finishing in August the following year. Flight grading took place after six months of general military training, at which point students were selected to be trainee pilots or navigators; the former remained at No. 1 FTS, and the latter transferred to the School of Air Navigation at RAAF Base East Sale,...
Following the disbandment of the ADFBFTS, No. 1 FTS was re-formed in January 2019 at RAAF Base East Sale to conduct basic flying training on the Pilatus PC-21. The school commenced its first course since reactivation on 14 January, and ten students graduated on 12 July. The re-formed No. 1 FTS came under the control of Air Academy, part of Air Force Training Group.
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No 3 FTS was first formed at Scopwick (later renamed RAF Digby) on 26 April 1920 from No. 59 Training Squadron in No. 3 Group. That month Squadron Leader Arthur Harris, later AOC-in-C Bomber Command, was jointly appointed both station and school commander. It was transferred to No. 1 Group on 31 August 1921 but disbanded on 1 April 1922.
- Origins and World War I
- World War II
- Post-War Era
In December 1911, the Australian Department of Defence advertised in the United Kingdom for "two competent mechanists and aviators" to establish a flying corps and school. The following year, Henry Petre, an Englishman, and Eric Harrison, an Australian, were selected and commissioned as lieutenants in the Australian Military Forces. Petre arrived in Australia in January 1913; his first job was to choose a site for the proposed Central Flying School (CFS), which he was to command. Rejecting the government's preferred location near the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in Canberra, he selected 297 hectares at Point Cook, Victoria, to become, as George Odgers described it, the "birthplace of Australian military aviation". Petre and Harrison established CFS over the following year with four mechanics, three other staff, and five aircraft including two Deperdussin monoplanes, two Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 biplanes, and a Bristol Boxkite for initial training. Harrison made the unit's f...
RAAF flying training was heavily reorganised soon after the outbreak of World War II in response to Australia's participation in the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS). Elementary Flying Training Schools were formed, to provide basic flight instruction to cadets, while more advanced pilot instruction was to take place at Service Flying Training Schools. The most pressing need, however, was for flying instructors; the RAAF had only sixteen, and at least 1,000 were needed to meet Australia's obligations under EATS. To train these instructors, the Instructors' Training Squadron at No. 1 FTS was detached to form the nucleus of a new Central Flying School on 29 April 1940. Described as the "nerve-centre of the Empire Air Training Scheme in Australia", it was commanded by Squadron Leader E.C. Bates, RAF, former chief flying instructor at No. 1 FTS. CFS relocated from Point Cook to RAAF Station Camden, New South Wales, on 14 May. Formerly the privately owned Macquarie Grove Aerodrome, Camde...
The immediate aftermath of the Pacific War saw large-sale demobilisation of RAAF personnel, along with the disposal of equipment and disbandment of units. CFS was allocated resources to ensure the maintenance of Air Force flying standards, but took on no new students. The school relocated from Point Cook to RAAF Station East Sale (now RAAF Base East Sale), Victoria, during November and December 1947; its aircraft included seven Tiger Moths, nine Wirraways, three Oxfords, two C-47 Dakotas, one P-51 Mustang, and one Avro Lincoln. It then returned to the job of training instructors, graduating its first post-war course in June 1948. Newspapers reporting on its move to East Sale called CFS the RAAF's "university of the air". Official RAAF historian Alan Stephens described the school as "the Air Force's most important peacetime unit", going on to state that "CFS's pre-eminence derived from its role as the Air Force's arbiter of pure flying standards, a responsibility it met by training i...
1 Jan 1936 - 1 Nov 1940 Formed at RAF Ternhill and redesignated as 10 Service Flying Training School on 3 September 1939 (just after the outbreak of the Second World War ). It was disbanded at Ternhill and transferred to Canada to become 32 Service Flying Training School.
After moving from RAF Netheravon, the school became the first flying unit at RAF Little Rissington in August 1938 with Audaxes, Furies, Harts and Ansons as No. 6 Service Flying Training School. It was disbanded by being redesignated No.6 (P)AFU (Pilot-Advanced Flying Unit) on 22 April 1942.