Army Flying Association
Whether it's becoming a private or professional commerical pilot or flying for your first time, The Army Flying Association (AFA) has you covered.
Established as The Royal Artillery Aero Club at Larkhill in 1936, The AFA is one of the oldest flying clubs in the UK. Based at Middle Wallop, the home of The Army Air Corps, the AFA operates 7 days a week. A CAA approved Declared Training Organisation (GBR.DTO.0079) the AFA can train serving and retired members of the Armed Forces.
The AFA provides training for an EASA PPL(A) - Private Pilots Licence and the IRR - Instrument Rating (Restricted). Enhanced Learning Credits can be used to help offset the costs of PPL(A) and IRR training, these are available through your local AEC and ELCAS.
EFTS Graduates are entitled to PPL(A) credits. The additional requirements for those who already have credits include ground exams, a solo Qualifiying cross country flight and a Skills Test.
Membership is strictly limited to serving members of the Armed Forces, Regular and Reserve and retired members. There are a limited number of ab-intio places available due to limited instructor numbers. Please contact us for further information.
The base was opened as RAF Middle Wallop, a training school for new pilots in 1940. It was originally intended for bomber use, however with the Battle of Britain being fought, No. 609 Squadron RAF, flying the Supermarine Spitfire, and No. 238 Squadron RAF flying the Hurricane Mk1 were moved to Middle Wallop as part of 10 group RAF Fighter Command. In September 1940 604 Squadron RAF a specialist night fighter unit received the Bristol Beaufighter, equipped with four 20-mm cannon under the nose and improved Mark IV AI radio-location equipment. As one of the few Squadrons thus equipped, 604 squadron helped provide night time defence over the UK during the Blitz from late 1940 until mid-May 1941.
Middle Wallop was also used by the United States Army Air Forces Ninth Air Force as IX Fighter Command Headquarters beginning in November 1943. Along with its headquarters mission, the airfield also hosted the 67th Reconnaissance Group. The 67th Group flew the photographic versions of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning and North American P-51 Mustang to fly weather-reconnaissance, bomb-damage assessment, photographic-reconnaissance, and visual-reconnaissance missions to obtain photographs that aided the invasion of the Continent.
Middle Wallop returned to Royal Air Force use from July 1944 for No. 418 Squadron RCAF and its de Havilland Mosquito nightfighters.
In January 1945, in an exchange with the RAF, Middle Wallop was transferred to Royal Navy use and became 'RNAS Middle Wallop'.
In 1946 the Royal Air Force occupied Middle Wallop again. No. 164 Squadron RAF with its Spitfires came and were renumbered to No. 63 Squadron RAF. The following year No. 227 OCU, an Army Air Observation Post training unit, was moved to the airfield. This was renamed as the Air Observation Post School in 1950 and the Light Aircraft School in 1952.
In 1954 a Development Flight (CFS) with helicopters was formed there, this led to the Joint Experimental Helicopter Unit in 1955. On 1 September 1957, when British Army aviation became independent of the RAF, Middle Wallop transferred to the new Army Air Corps, and the School of Army Aviation was established. It changed its name to the Army Aviation Centre on 1 August 2009.