Skip Navigation

RAF Squirrel HT1

A helicopter piloted by Prince William and Prince Harry as part of their military flying training will be on static display at this summer's Royal International Air Tattoo. An RAF Squirrel HT1, which has a top speed of 155mph, a cruising speed of 132mph and can fly at up 16,000ft, will come from the Central Flying School (Helicopters) at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire.

As part of his training to become a Search and Rescue pilot, Prince William undertook Basic and Advanced Flying training on Squirrel and Griffin helicopters at RAF Shawbury. His brother mastered the Squirrel helicopter at RAF Shawbury before transferring to the School of Army Aviation in Middle Wallop, Hampshire.

The Central Flying School, whose headquarters is at RAF Cranwell, is where the RAF trains its military flying instructors. It is the longest serving flying school in the world.

Airshow organisers are hoping the Squirrel will be among a number of past and present CFS aircraft that will feature in a special line-up to salute the school's 100th anniversary.

In the early 1950s, the CFS operated close to RAF Fairford, with RAF South Cerney providing basic flying training (and helicopter instructor training until 1961) and RAF Little Rissington advanced training (until 1976). A Vampire T11, used by the CFS during this period, has already been confirmed as attending this summer's Air Tattoo.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

Sign up for emails about the Air Tattoo, Concerts and Merchandise