Present Conventional Glider VGSsEdit

Present Motor Glider VGSsEdit

 Volunteer Gliding Squadron structureEdit


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 personnelEdit

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 personnelEdit

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 CadetsEdit

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 trainingEdit

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 qualificationsEdit

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.


Conventional glidersEdit

 In serviceEdit

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

 No longer in serviceEdit

Non-GRP constructionEdit
GRP constructionEdit



Motor glidersEdit

In serviceEdit

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

No longer in serviceEdit

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