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Units[]

Present Conventional Glider VGSs[]

  • 614 VGS (MDPGA Wethersfield), formerly 142 GS, 146 GS and 147 GS
  • 615 VGS (RAF Kenley), formerly 141 GS and 168 GS
  • 617 VGS Currently Homeless (formerly at RAF Manston and before that at Raf Bovingdon and before that RAF Hendon)
  • 621 VGS (Hullavington), formerly 87 GS and formerly at Locking Airfield, Weston Super Mare
  • 622 VGS (Trenchard Lines), formerly 89 GS
  • 625 VGS (RAF Hendon), formerly 83 GS
  • 626 VGS (Predannack), formerly 82 GS
  • 643 VGS (RAF Syerston), formerly 107 EGS
  • 644 VGS (RAF Syerston), formerly 29 EGS
  • 661 VGS (RAF Kirknewton), formerly 1 EGS
  • 662 VGS (RMB Condor), formerly 2 GS and 5 GS

Present Motor Glider VGSs[]

  • 611 VGS (RAF Honington), formerly 102 GS
  • 612 VGS (Dalton Barracks), formerly 104 GS
  • 613 VGS (RAF Halton), formerly C122 GS
  • 616 VGS (RAF Henlow), formerly 106 GS
  • 618 VGS (RAF Odiham), formerly 146 GS and 168 GS
  • 624 VGS (RMB Chivenor), formerly 84 GS
  • 631 VGS (RAF Woodvale), formerly 186 GS
  • 632 VGS (RAF Ternhill), formerly 45 GS
  • 633 VGS (RAF Cosford)
  • 634 VGS (MOD St. Athan), formerly 68 GS
  • 635 VGS (RAF Topcliffe) (Formerly at BAE Salmesbury)
  • 636 VGS (Swansea Airport)
  • 637 VGS (RAF Little Rissington)
  • 642 VGS (RAF Linton-on-Ouse), formerly 23 GS
  • 645 VGS (RAF Topcliffe), formerly 26 GS
  • 663 VGS (RAF Kinloss)
  • 664 VGS (Newtownards)

 Volunteer Gliding Squadron structure[]

Personnel[]

Staff on a VGS consist of Full-Time personnel (usually specifically appointed Reserve Officers and Civilians), supernumerary personnel (who are regular members of the Armed Forces, or Reservists attached to the Cadet Force or Auxiliaries), and Flight Staff Cadets.

Appointed personnel[]

Reserve Officers are appointed to fulfil management positions mandated to operate a Squadron. Civilians start under probation as Under Training Instructors. Their probation ends on attaining a B2 Category Qualified Gliding Instructor (QGI) status, where they become Honorary Instructors of the RAF. Personnel must attain a B1 Category QGI rating before qualifying for a Reserve Commission for an intended appointment. Executive Officers (XOs) head the leadership of the Squadron as OC, CFI and DCFI.

Commissioned posts on VGS include:

Other appointed roles include:

  • Unit Navigation Officer (UNavO)
  • Mechanical Transport Officer (MTO)
  • Flight Safety Officer (FSO)
  • Training Officer (TrgO)

Supernumerary personnel[]

Supernumerary personnel are part time staff whose primary appointment is elsewhere and their VGS appointment is their secondary duty. Personnel vary from various Commissioned and Non-Commissioned branches of the Regular, Reserve and Cadet Forces.

Flight Staff Cadets[]

Cadets from either the or Air Training Corps or Combined Cadet Force can be appointed as Flight Staff Cadets (FSCs) on a VGS. FSCs are selected, usually after completing Advanced Glider Training, for those who show potential to become Gliding Instructors. They do not act as a substitute for VGS adult personnel solely providing ground support. FSCs can progress to a B-Category (less the supervisory priviliges).

Flying training[]

Flying Training is carried out to the syllabus of the RAF Central Flying School. Ab-initio training starts with three initial courses, and are followed on with Basic Pilot Training to achieve flying Grades.

  • Gliding Induction Courses (GICs) - these are 20 - 30 minute sorties designed to give a basic appreciation of aircraft handling.
  • Gliding Scholarship (GS) - is an 8 hour course to flying either aircraft types solo. An additional 2 hours can be awarded to achieve the course aim. Trainees attain the aircrew training standard GS. Two sets of Wings can be awarded to Air Cadets; Blue for completing the GS Syllabus to the required ATS, and Silver for flying a solo circuit.
  • Advanced Gliding Training (AGT) - a short 5 hour course to provide a greater appreciation of advanced handling and five additional solo circuits. Trainees attain the aircrew training standard AGT. Air Cadets completing this course are awarded Gold Wings.

Flying qualifications[]

The following Pilot qualifications can be obtained on VGSs:

  • Pilot Grade 2 (G2) - Qualified Solo on aircraft type.
  • Pilot Grade 1 (G1) - Qualified on aircraft type, allowing with passengers to be flown. G1s are additionally authorised to teach GIC exercises, to provide handling experience required for an Instructor category.

Instructor qualifications can be attained following the completion of a course at the Royal Air Force Central Gliding School:

  • B2 Category Instructor - A Qualified Gliding Instructor that requires close supervision.
  • B1 Category Instructor - A competent Qualified Gliding Instructor.

Higher instructor qualifications can be attained following the completion of an examination by the Royal Air Force Central Flying School Gliding Examiners:

  • A2 Category Instructor - An above average Qualified Gliding Instructor. This qualification is denoted by the symbol cfs(g) in the Air Force List for commissioned instructors.
  • A1 Category Instructor - An exceptional Qualified Gliding Instructor. This qualification is denoted by the symbol cfs*(g) in the Air Force List for commissioned instructors.

Additional ratings:

  • Flying Supervisor (FS) for the roles of OC, CFI and DCFI. This is notated by a * after the category, e.g. "A2*".
  • Navigation Instructor Qualification (NIQ) for teaching instructors to award TQs and BNQs.
  • Transit Qualification (TQ) for ferry flying
  • Basic Navigation Qualification (BNQ) for teaching navigation.

Aircraft[]

Conventional gliders[]

 In service[]

  • Grob Aerospace Viking TX.1 (100 entered service, later reduced to around 77)

 No longer in service[]

Non-GRP construction[]
Single-seat[]
Dual-seat[]
GRP construction[]

Single-seat

Dual-seat[]

Motor gliders[]

In service[]

  • Grob Aerospace Vigilant T.1 (53 entered service, later increased to 63)

No longer in service[]

  • Slingsby Venture TX.1 (One entered service, mainly used at ACCGS)
  • Slingsby Venture TX.2 (15 entered service, followed by a further 25)
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