How to become a fighter pilot in the RAF

Written by col forbin
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How to become a fighter pilot in the RAF
The Royal Air Force protects the United Kingdom. (union jack image by Paul Troop from

Joining the Royal Air Force has certain requirements: nationality and residency, age and fitness. Specific jobs within the RAF also have academic requirements and other requisites. As with any job, these requirements must be met for acceptance.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Gather evidence of residency. A UK citizen will have no problems with the residency requirements for RAF entry. Passport holders of other countries need to show that they have lived in the UK or the Republic of Ireland for at least 10 years. Having commonwealth citizenship from birth and dual UK/other citizenship are also acceptable.

  2. 2

    Sixteen is the youngest age to become an airman or airwoman, and 17 years, six months is the youngest to be a commissioned officer, non-commissioned aircrew or air traffic controller.

  3. 3

    Applicants must be invited to the RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire for the Potential Recruit Training Course by passing the Pre-joining Fitness Test. The Fitness test varies by age, but for someone between 16 and 29 years old the requirements are: a 2.4 km (1.5 mile) treadmill run in 12 minutes and 11 seconds, four press-ups and seven sit-ups for men, and a 2.4 km (1.5 mile) run in 14 minutes and 26 seconds, two press-ups and five sit-ups for women.

  4. 4

    Call the RAF careers information line at 0845-605-5555 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Give the career information agent your postcode to start the application process.

Tips and warnings

  • You can't join the RAF if you are a member of any extremist organisations, a drug user, have any pending court appearances or have tattoos that would be visible when wearing full uniform.

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