RAF Patch UAS Northumbrian Universities Air Sqn Crest Patch
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RAF Patch UAS Northumbrian Universities Air Sqn Crest Patch

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RAF Patch Northumbrian Universities Air Squadron UAS Crest Patch Grob Tutor 2000 Embroidered on twill 110mm by 88mm four and five sixteenth inches by three and one half inches.

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Badge: - White Gaelic cross

Motto: - Dat Scientia Alas - Knowledge gives Wings


The University Air Squadron concept was conceived by Marshal of the Royal Air Force Lord Trenchard in the 1920s to provide preliminary flying training and promote the Royal Air Force as a career opportunity to some of the brightest and most capable young people in the country having secured places to study at university. The first units were formed at Oxford and Cambridge in 1925.

World events during the 1930s led to a massive increase in the number of pilot and officer recruits required to counter the perceived threats leading to the establishment of many more University Air Squadrons before and during the war years to help increase the number of aircrew available for the RAF. Throughout the war most Squadrons were equipped with Tiger Moths supplemented with Harvards

Post-war the new Squadrons were largely maintained with some rationalization and reorganization as their value in providing an excellent source of high caliber recruits to the RAF had been fully recognized leading to the UASs being less affected by the post-war reduction in manpower than other areas of the Royal Air Force.

The Chipmunk was introduced in 1950 initially to Oxford University Air Squadron operating from RAF Kidlington with the other Squadrons re-equipping soon after. The RAF introduced its Graduate Entry Scheme in 1969 and in the 1970s some 50% of RAF pilots entered the service under the scheme.

In April 1973 the Bulldog began to replace the Chipmunk as the standard primary training aircraft with the University of London Air Squadron being the first to receive it in October 1973 at RAF Abingdon. While the University Air Squadrons were a primary source of RAF pilots an increasing number of UAS students wished to enter the Ground Branches of the RAF leading to a formal Ground Branch syllabus being introduced in 1998.

In 2000 the UASs were re-equipped with the Grob 115E primary trainer aircraft owned and maintained by a civilian contractor with the University of London Air Squadron and Cambridge University Air Squadron the first to operate them.

In 2013 14 University Air Squadrons had around 600 Flying and 400 Ground Branch students. Imminent re-organization will alter the syllabus to require students selected for the UAS to successfully complete Initial Officer Training following which all students will undertake UAS flying while students wishing to become RAF pilots will commence formal Elementary Flying Training.  



Northumbrian Universities Air Squadron NUAS is located at NUAS Town Headquarters THQ in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and flys from RAF Leeming with students studying at Durham Newcastle Northumbria Teesside and Sunderland Universities.

Northumbrian Universities Air Squadron was originally formed as Durham University Air Squadron in 1941 as part of 54 Group. The Squadron was located at RAF Woolsington, which is now Newcastle international airport. The Squadron moved to RAF Usworth near Sunderland in 1949 and
relocated to RAF Ouston in 1957.  Durham UAS was re-designated Northumbrian UAS when the University of Newcastle upon Tyne was established in August 1963. The Squadron moved to its present location at RAF Leeming in 1974 when RAF Ouston was closed.


This patch dates from 2000.



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