Air Training Corps Wiki
Grob tutor t1

Air Experience Flight[]

An Air Experience Flight (AEF) is a training unit of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch) whose main purpose is to give introductory flying experience to cadets from the Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Force. As of 2019, thirteen AEFs are active.


The AEFs, numbered from 1 to 13, were formed across the United Kingdom in 1958, all but two forming on the same day, 8 September. All were equipped with the de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10 trainer. An exception was No. 5 AEF, which also operated a single Beagle Husky (XW635) from 1969 to 1989.

In the mid-1990s they were merged with co-located University Air Squadrons (UASs), the Chipmunks being replaced by the existing UAS Scottish Aviation Bulldog T.1s. No. 13 AEF at RAF Aldergrove was disbanded in 1996. In 1999, the Grob Tutor T.1 began to replace the Bulldog.

On 10 March 2016, Julian Brazier, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence), announced the return of 13 AEF and a new 14 AEF.

Role and operations[]

The Royal Air Force (RAF) Air Experience Flights (AEF) are co-located with University Air Squadron (UAS) units; the co-located AEF and UAS units pool resources and share aircraft. Air Experience Flights provide basic flying experience, and aerobatics to eligible members of Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC), otherwise known as the Air Training Corps (ATC), along with the RAF section of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF-RAF), and other air-minded youth groups such as Air Scouts and the Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets (GVC-AC).

When two separate AEFs are co-located at the same airfield, such as No. 9 Air Experience Flight ( 9AEF) and No. 11 Air Experience Flight (11 AEF) at RAF Leeming, the two individual AEFs share the same fleet of aircraft. Just like the University Air Squadrons, all Air Experience Flights are currently commanded by No. 6 Flying Training School RAF (6 FTS).

Current flights[]

  • No. 1 Air Experience Flight RAFMoD St Athan
  • No. 2 Air Experience Flight RAFMoD Boscombe Down
  • No. 3 Air Experience Flight RAFMoD Boscombe Down
  • No. 4 Air Experience Flight RAFGlasgow Airport
  • No. 5 Air Experience Flight RAFRAF Wittering
  • No. 6 Air Experience Flight RAFRAF Benson
  • No. 7 Air Experience Flight RAFRAF Cranwell
  • No. 8 Air Experience Flight RAFRAF Cosford
  • No. 9 Air Experience Flight RAFRAF Leeming
  • No. 10 Air Experience Flight RAFRAF Woodvale
  • No. 11 Air Experience Flight RAFRAF Leeming
  • No. 12 Air Experience Flight RAFLeuchars Station
  • No. 13 Air Experience Flight RAFJHC FS Aldergrove
  • No. 14 Air Experience Flight RAF – TBA


Grob Tutor T1

Grob Tutor T.1

The Grob Tutor T.Mk 1 is utilised by the Royal Air Force for University Air Squadron (UAS) elementary flying training and by the Fleet Air Arm and the Army Air Corps for flying grading.  The Tutor equips 15 UASs and 13 Air Experience Flights (AEFs) throughout the UK, providing flying instruction to university students and air experience flying to the Air Cadet organisation.  RAF Wittering is home to the remainder of 6 Flying Training School Units with 115 Squadron providing Tutor Qualified Flying Instructor Training, as well as the Tutor display team.  As of March 2022, 16 Squadron became the 6 FTS Standards and Evaluation Squadron.