Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
RAF Flying Badges - Current
|Pilots' Flying Badge
|Weapons Systems Officer/Operator||As inertial and satellite based navigation and
automated sensor systems became the norm, the traditional duties of the
Navigator and AEO started to change. This aircrew category was
introduced in April 2003 to reflect these changing roles.
It will eventually be the only badge awarded to 'Mission Aircrew'. The first examples were awarded in May 2003
|Reserve Pilot (Air Experience)||Introduced in April 2020 for non-Service staff pilots in Air Experience Flights (i.e. pilots who lack a RAF flying badge)|
|Reserve Pilot (Glider)||This is to be introduced in April 2021, but is optionally available from April 2020, replacing the previous Air Cadet staff and Instructor glider pilot badges.|
|Preliminary Flying Badge (Pilot)||Introduced in 1949 it is awarded to members of the University Air Squadrons who have achieved the required standard of flying proficiency (roughly equivalent to a civilian PPL)|
|Parachute Jump Instructor||This flying badge was introduced in 1945. Parachute Jump Instructors (PJIs) are classed as honorary aircrew.|
|Fighter Controller||Introduced in 1983 and worn by Fighter
Controllers serving aboard Airborne Early Warning aircraft. It will be
replaced by the Airborne Specialist badge in April 2021.
Airborne Fighter Controllers are classed as honorary aircrew.
|Airborne Technician||With the introduction of the Boeing Sentry AEW
Mk 1 in 1991, there became a need for a qualified electronics technician to
be carried to maintain the mass of electronics systems. Airborne
Technicians are actually ground tradesmen who can return to normal ground
servicing after an airborne tour. It will be replaced by the Airborne
Specialist badge in April 2021.
Airborne Technicians are classed as honorary aircrew.
|Image Analyst||With the introduction of the Sentinel R Mk 1
into No 5 Sqn there became a need for Imagery Analysis's and this flying
badge was introduced. It will be replaced by the Airborne Specialist
badge in April 2021.
Image Analysts are classed as honorary aircrew.
|Airborne Specialist||To be introduced in April 2021 to replace the
Fighter Controller, Airborne Technician and Image Analyst badges.
However it can be worn, if privately purchased, from April 2020.
This badge will be awarded to any personnel classed as honorary aircrew.
The badges shown on this page are provided courtesy of RAF Flying Branch & NCA Trade Advisors at the Ministry of Defence
This page was last updated on 15/06/20
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