Armed Forces International News - January 2008

Prince William to Undergo RAF Flight Training

Posted by Paul Fiddian on 04/01/2008 - 12:18:47

It has been announced that Prince William is to be trained as a Royal Air Force pilot. Over the course of four months, he will learn to fly both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, starting off at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

According to Group Captain Nick Seward, the Prince’s future role at the head of Britain’s armed forces demands that he gains an understanding of both the RAF’s “ethos and (its) history).”

The course he will take, said Flight Lieutenant Rob Lees – the man tasked with instructing him – will mirror that of other trainees in being “very demanding.”

Prince’s RAF Training Follows Army Service, Precedes Naval Role

Prince William’s period within the RAF follows a year spent serving with the British Army. After it, he will then serve on a temporary basis with the Royal Navy, thus completing his experience of life within all three of Britain’s armed forces.

Group Captain Seward stated: "The idea of him coming for a four-month attachment is to prepare him for his future as head of the armed forces”, adding: “It's important that he sees our ethos, our history and how we differ from the Army."

William to Fly RAF’s Tutor and Tucano Training Aircraft

With effect from Monday 7th January, the Prince will initially learn how to fly the RAF’s elementary training type – the German-built Grob Tutor - at RAF Cranwell. From here, he will relocate to RAF Linton-on-Ouse, the home of the next aircraft flown by student RAF pilots – the Shorts Tucano. Finally, he will move to RAF Shawbury, where his flying training will involve the Squirrel helicopter.

During his time within the RAF, Prince William will be known as Flying Officer Wales.

Prince Will be Treated Like All New RAF Recruits

According to Flight Lieutenant Lees, the treatment given the Prince will be identical to that of any other new officer.

"All our students have time constraints that they have to get all the skills and achieve all the required standards in," he stated. "And Prince William will go through the same thing.

"He will have a limited amount of time to achieve the right standards so it's very demanding."

Other members of the Royal Family have also served within Britain’s military at various times. Prince Charles, for example, undertook flight training on the Tucano’s predecessor, the Jet Provost, 37 years ago at RAF Cranwell.

Prince Andrew, meanwhile, became a helicopter pilot, and took part in the Falklands Conflict – the 25th Anniversary of which was commemorated in 2007.

Source – Armed Forces International’s Aviation Expert

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