Central Flying School

Central Flying School

The Central Flying School (CFS) is the Royal Air Force's primary institution for the training of military flying instructors. It was established at Upavon Aerodrome, near Upavon, Wiltshire in 1912, and is the longest existing flying training school. The CFS's first commandant was Captain Godfrey Paine RN. It has been responsible for instructor training since 1920, with pilot training being delegated to the Flying Training Schools.

Today, Upavon Airfield is still used to train glider pilots and flying instructors by the Air Cadet Organisation using the Viking T Mk 1 gliders of 622 Volunteer Gliding Squadron. It is also used by the Army Gliding Association.


1912 to 1919

*19 June 1912 Captain G M Paine RN
*15 November 1915 Lieutenant-Colonel D le G Pitcher
*1916 Colonel C J Burke
*18 June 1916 Lieutenant-Colonel A C H MacLean
*1917 Lieutenant-Colonel A J L Scott [http://www.raf.mod.uk/history_old/cfscommen1.html]

1919 to 1920 (as Commandant, Flying Instructors School)

*17 January 1919 Lieutenant-Colonel P H L Playfair
*7 April 1919 Lieutenant-Colonel (later Wing Commander) C D Breese

1920 to 1942

*3 May 1920 Wing Commander N D K MacEwen
*1922 Air Commodore E A D Masterman
*1 January 1923 Group Captain F V Holt
*22 April 1925 Group Captain W R Freeman
*24 January 1927 Group Captain (later Air Commodore) C S Burnett
*17 December 1928 Wing Commander (later Group Captain) J E A Baldwin
*19 January 1932 Group Captain P C Maltby
*July 1935 Wing Commander (later Group Captain) H G Smart
*14 December 1936 Group Captain J M Robb
*17 March 1940 Group Captain H H Down

1946 to present


* [http://www.centralflyingschool.org.uk/ Central Flying School official website]
* [http://www.rafweb.org/Estab.htm Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - Other Establishments - Flying Schools and Colleges]

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