Video encyclopedia

Royal Air Force


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The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain.
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  • Origins 

  • Second World War 

  • Cold War era 

  • Post-Cold War 

  • Senior management 

  • Air Command 

  • No. 1 Group (Air Combat) 

  • No. 2 Group (Air Combat Support) 

  • No. 11 Group (Multi-domain operations) 

  • No. 22 Group (Training) 

  • No. 83 Expeditionary Air Group 

  • Stations 

  • United Kingdom 

  • Overseas 

  • Squadrons 

  • Flights 

  • Support wings and units 

  • Expeditionary Air Wings 

  • Flying training 

  • Non-flying training 

  • Specialist training and education 

  • Personnel 

  • Officers 

  • Other ranks 

  • Typhoon 

  • Lightning 

  • Intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) 

  • Maritime patrol 

  • Air mobility 

  • Helicopters 

  • Training aircraft 

  • Initial training 

  • Elementary training 

  • Basic fast jet training 

  • Advanced fast jet training 

  • Multi-engine training 

  • Rotary 

  • Future aircraft 

  • Symbols, flags, emblems and uniform 

  • Red Arrows 

  • Royal Air Force Music