Aviation Studies

The Air Cadet's Training Syllabus is designed to ensure that the training Cadets receive is both progressive and helps to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to enable full participation in the other activities that are available.

The Training that Cadets receive will vary between practical demonstration, formal lectures, hands-on projects and outdoor activities. The technical training is based around providing training in preparation and support of the flying and gliding activities.

Many Cadets find that the training syllabus is one of the more interesting and useful aspects of their overall training. Most Squadrons now offer a BTEC in Aviation Studies to Cadets who successfully complete the training syllabus. This is a nationally recognised qualification (that can be used as the science requirement for RAF entry) and can be a great addition to a Cadets CV.

The syllabus training is broken down into specific areas of studies and content. These are known as Classifications.

First Class Cadet

When a new cadet joins the Air Training Corps they become a Junior Cadet and work through ACP 36 which is an Induction Handbook for New Cadets. As a Junior Cadet they will complete First Class Cadet Training - Part One which covers the following:

  • The Air Training Corps
  • Wearing and Upkeep of Uniform
  • Drill and Ceremonial

Both the Junior Cadet Induction and the First Class Cadet - Part One training programme should take approximately one month to complete, provided that attendance has been consistent and factors like attitude and behaviour have been to an acceptable standard.

Upon satisfactory completion of the First Class Cadet - Part One Cadet training programme, the Junior Cadet is then enrolled as a Second Class Cadet and is issued with a uniform. Second Class Cadets then complete the First Class Cadet - Part Two and Part Three training programme which is intended as a foundation for future subjects.

The First Class Cadet - Part Two training programme covers the following:

  • The Royal Air Force
  • The History of Flight

The First Class Cadet - Part Three training programme covers the following:

  • Initial Expedition Training
  • Basic Radio Communications
  • Map Reading
  • Basic Principles of Airmanship

All parts of the First Class Cadet training is delivered through practical demonstration by instructors within and around Squadron premises, rather than desk-bound instruction and there are checks of understanding for those cadets completing the training rather than written examinations.

Cadets who have any form of learning difficulty, especially dyslexia, should ensure that the Staff are made aware. The Air Cadet Organisation will do its best to help all Cadets succeed, regardless of ability.

Leading Cadet

First Class Cadets undertake training towards becoming a Leading Cadet. During this training they will learn the principles of navigating using map and compass. This training covers how aircraft fly and what makes helicopters stay in the air, and Airmanship II covers the Highway Code of the Sky. To be eligible to sit the Leading Cadet examinations, a cadet must have been appointed as a First Class Cadet and have completed the appropriate syllabus training.

The syllabus content is as follows:

  • Principles of Flight
  • Basic Navigation Using Map and Compass
  • Airmanship Knowledge

Senior Cadet

To be eligible to sit the Senior Cadet examinations, a cadet must have been appointed as a Leading Cadet and have completed the appropriate syllabus training. Drill and extra-curricular activities are also required. The syllabus content is any two of the following subjects:

  • Air Navigation
  • Propulsion
  • Aircraft Handling
  • Advanced Radio and Radar
  • Pilot Navigation
  • Airframes
  • Operational Flying
  • Satellite Communications

Master Cadet

The syllabus content includes any two of the subjects listed for, but not taken at, Senior Cadet level. Once a Cadet achieves the Master Cadet classification, their formal syllabus / classification training is complete.

Instructor Cadet

Once a Cadet achieves the Master Cadet classification, their classification training is completed and the next phase of their training is to successfully complete the Method of Instruction Course to be appointed an Instructor Cadet.