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Neil DeLavan

WWII (AAF) Primary Flying - Flight Training Manual


USAAF training had four phases:
? Primary Flying School
? Basic Flying School
? Advanced Flying School
? Transition Training

Primary Flying School (Including RAF Training in the U.S.)
The Primary Flying schools were civilian operated under contract for the USAAF. These civilian schools used Stearman, Ryan and Fairchild trainers owned by the USAAF, but their flight instructors were civilian employees. Each cadet received 60 hours of flight training in nine weeks.
RAF trainees had one minor difference to the USAAF, before they were sent from the UK they were given 4 hours on Tiger Moths to weed out those who may not be suitable for reasons such as air sickness, people who may be unusually susceptible to negative G, or simply discover they hate flying.

Basic Flying School
Here the aircraft were changed to BT-9 or Bt-13. Cadets learned how to fly at night, by instruments, information and cross-country from one point to another. Also, for the first time, he operated a plane equipped with a two-way radio and a two-pitch propeller. This training took 9 weeks and involved about 70 hours in the air. It should be noted that the schools were now under USAAF control and apart from the additional complexity of the training and machinery, there was also the cultural shock as discipline was more rigorous.

Advanced Flying School
Again we have a change in aircraft to the AT-6 for future fighter pilots. The time in training was nine weeks and took about 70 hours flying time. The emphasis was on learning aerial gunnery as well as combat maneuvers and increasing their skills in navigation, formation and instrument flying.

Transition Training
This is where the cadet was introduced to the aircraft to be used in combat. For a fighter pilot this took two months and about 50 hours, but was more for multi engine pilots.
RAF graduates were sent home at the end of the Advanced Flying School as the aircraft that they were to use were different. RAF graduates would be sent on an acclimatization course of 2 weeks to get them used to flying in Britain with the weather and crowded skies before being sent to an RAF O.T.U. course. The length of this varied depending on the type of aircraft they were to fly and the time period they arrived in the UK as it constantly changed.

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WWII Army Air Forces issued "Primary Flying" Flight Training Manual

This manual was issued to all new pilots. Featuring the Primary Training airplanes: PT-17 (Stearman), PT-19 and Ryan PT-22. Contains color diagrams and explanations on different basic flying techniques; Controls, maneuvers, stalls, takeoffs, landings, ground loops, acrobatics, etc. This is a very good manual to read to understand about basic flying, the way our WWII pilots were trained.

  View: WWII (AAF) Primary Flying - Flight Training Manual (1943)

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