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British Industrial History

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Central Flying School, Upavon

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The Central Flying School (CFS) is the Royal Air Force's primary institution for the training of military flying instructors.

It was established by the Royal Naval Air Service 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. The school was staffed by officers and men of both the navy and the army. The naval wing of the RFC, by the terms of its inception, was permitted to carry out experimentation at its flying school at Eastchurch.

The Central Flying School has been responsible for instructor training since 1920, with pilot training being delegated to the Flying Training Schools.

The School was later based at RAF Little Rissington, from 1946 to 1976

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.

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