RAF Flying Training Command


Flying Training Command was an organization of the Royal Air Force; it controlled flight training units. The command's headquarters were at Shinfield Park, Reading in Berkshire.

Flying Training Command
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
Active27 May 1940 - 1 June 1968
CountryUnited Kingdom
BranchRoyal Air Force
RoleFlying training
HeadquartersShinfield Park, Reading
Motto(s)Per Laborem ad Summa
Latin: Through toil to Supremacy[1]
EngagementsSecond World War
Cold War


Flying Training Command was formed from the elements of Training Command which were responsible for flying training on 27 May 1940;[2] Reserve Command, formed 1 February 1939, was absorbed into Flying Training Command on the same date.[2] The remainder of Training Command became Technical Training Command on the same date. No. 21 Group RAF was transferred to Flying Training Command on 27 May 1940, responsible for the RAF College and the Service Flight Training Schools from the Midlands northwards. Nos 50, 51, and 54 Groups were flying training formations transferred from Reserve Command to Flying Training Command when it was formed.

In March 1943 the command included Nos 21, 23, 25, and 29, 50, 51, and 54 Groups.[3]

No. 23 Group RAF was reformed as No 23 (Training) Group in Inland Area on 12 Apr 1926, at RAF Spitalgate, by re-numbering No. 3 Group RAF. Its stations were Digby, Eastchurch, Flowerdown, Manston, and RAF Sealand, while it commanded 1 (Netheravon), 2, and 5 FTSs; the Armament and Gunnery School at Eastchurch; the SoTT (Airmen) at RAF Manston; the Central Flying School at RAF Upavon, and finally the Electrical and Wireless School at RAF Flowerdown.[4] 23 Group was transferred to RAF Training Command on 1 May 1936. The RAF List for 1938 records that it comprised the Central Flying School; 1-3 and 5-11 Flying Training Schools; the Packing Depot at Sealand; the School of Air Navigation and No. 48 Squadron RAF at Manston; the Station Flight and No. 24 MU at Tern Hill; and No. 27 MU at RAF Shawbury.[5] In September 1939 it controlled Nos 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12 Service Flying Training Schools, the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at RAF Martlesham Heath, and the group communications flight co-located with Group Headquarters at RAF Spitalgate in Lincolnshire.[6] It was then transferred again to Flying Training Command on 27 May 1940. It was reabsorbed into Training Command in 1968 and disbanded on 2 May 1975.[2]

In mid-1965 the Command was made up of No. 23 Group, No. 25 Group, the RAF College Cranwell, the RAF Staff College, Bracknell, the Central Flying School, and the College of Air Warfare.[7]

Flying Training Command was eventually re-absorbed into the newly re-established Training Command on 1 June 1968.[2]

Shinfield ParkEdit

After Flying Training Command left, the Meteorological Office College relocated from Stanmore, Middlesex in October 1971.[8] In 2004 both the College and the Met. Office HQ in Bracknell relocated to Exeter, Devon.[9] The site has since been developed into residential accommodation, although The Lodge, the centrepiece of Shinfield Park and a Georgian listed building, remains and is waiting redevelopment.[citation needed]

Aircraft operatedEdit

Air Officers Commanding-in-ChiefEdit

Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief were:[2]

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Pine, L.G. (1983). A dictionary of mottoes (1 ed.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 171. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X.
  2. ^ a b c d e Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - RAF Home Commands formed between 1939 - 1957 Archived 11 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 24 May 2008
  3. ^ Denis Richards, Hilary Saunders (15 August 2014). Official History of the Royal Air Force 1935-1945 — Vol. II — Fight Avails. Pickle Partners Publishing (reprint). Appendix III: Royal Air Force Command Organization March 1943.
  4. ^ Ian Philpott (2005). The Royal Air Force: The Trenchard Years, 1918–1929. Casemate Publishers. (no page number visible), drawing upon Air Ministry Weekly Order 354/1926.
  5. ^ Royal Air Force List 1938, page 152.
  6. ^ Leo Niehorster, No. 23 (Training) Group, Training Command, Royal Air Force, 3 September 1939, accessed June 2020.
  7. ^ Derek Martin (1 August 1965). "Royal Air Force Organization in the United Kingdom". RUSI Journal. 110 (639): 269. doi:10.1080/03071846509419774.
  8. ^ "Shinfield Players Theatre". shinfieldplayers.co.uk. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  9. ^ The Met Office in Exeter Exeter City Council
  10. ^ Thetford 1995, p. 17.
  11. ^ Thetford 1995, p. 37.
  12. ^ Thetford 1995, p. 59.
  13. ^ Thetford 1995, p. 136.


  • Sturtivant, Ray, ISO and John Hamlin. RAF Flying Training and Support Units since 1912. Tonbridge Wells, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 2007. ISBN 0-85130-365-X.
  • Thetford, O (1995). Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918. London, UK: Putnam Aeronautical Books. ISBN 0-85177-865-8.

External linksEdit

  • Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - RAF Home Commands formed between 1939 and 1957
Preceded by Flying Training Command
Succeeded by