No. 5 Flying Training School RAF

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No. 5 Flying Training School
Vickers Varsity T.1 WF413 V 5 FTS MILD 22.05.71 edited-3.jpg
Vickers Varsity T.1 WF413 of No. 5 Flying Training School Royal Air Force in 1971
Active26 Apr 1920 – 11 Apr 1942
23 Apr 1947 – 4 Jan 1948
22 Jan 1951 – 30 Dec 1953
1 Jun 1954 – 31 Dec 1974
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force Ensign Royal Air Force
RolePilot training

No. 5 Flying Training School (5 FTS) is a former Royal Air Force flying training school that operated between 1920 and 1974.[1]


First formation[edit]

The school was formed on 26 April 1920 at RAF Shotwick and redesignated No. 5 Service Flying Training School from 3 September 1939. It used a variety of aircraft including de Havilland DH.9s, Avro 504s, Sopwith Snipes, Westland Wapitis, Avro Tutors, Gloster Gauntlets, Westland Wallaces, Hawker Audaxs, Hawker Hinds, Fairey Battles, Hawker Hurricanes, North American Harvards, Miles Masters, Airspeed Oxfords, Miles Magisters and de Havilland Tiger Moths.[1]

It was disbanded in April 1942 at RAF Ternhill[1] by redesignation to No. 5 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit.

Second formation[edit]

The school was reformed from 23 April 1947 at RAF Thornhill, Southern Rhodesia as part of the Rhodesian Air Training Group until 4 January 1948 when it was redesignated No. 3 Air Navigation School (3 ANS), specialising in training Navigators on Avro Ansons. Their other aircraft (Tiger Moths and Harvards) were sent to nearby No. 4 Flying Training School RAF at RAF Heany.[2]

Third formation[edit]

Reformed as a standard flying training school, again in Southern Rhodesia, flying Tiger Moths and de Havilland Chipmunks on 22 January 1951. It would reabsorb 3 ANS on 28 September 1951 and stay at RAF Thornhill until disbanding on 30 December 1953.[2]

Fourth formation[edit]

1954–1974 No. 5 Flying Training School, (5 FTS), reformed at RAF Oakington (5 miles NW of Cambridge) on 1 June 1954. Its initial role was to convert trainee pilots to jets using De Havilland Vampire T.5 single seat jets and Vampire T.11 twin-seat jets. In March 1962 these types were exchanged for the Vickers Varsity T.1 twin piston-engine navigational trainers. The school took new graduates who had completed basic pilot training and provided further training in the handling of multi-engine aircraft as a precursor to posting onto Bomber or Transport squadrons/units. The Varsity remained in service with 5 FTS until early in 1974 when it was replaced in the role by the Scottish Aviation Jetstream T.1. 5 FTS was disbanded on 31 December 1974 when the need for training on piston engined aircraft reduced. The airfield was then closed, becoming a British Army barracks.



  1. ^ a b c Lake 1999, p. 106.
  2. ^ a b "Rhodesia & The RAF". Retrieved 29 February 2016.


External links[edit]

Air of Authority - RAF Flying Training Schools at the Wayback Machine (archived 25 November 2012)