Cambridge University Air Squadron RAF
Active1 Oct 1925-present
RoleTraining, Recruitment
Part ofNo. 6 Flying Training School RAF
Garrison/HQRAF Wittering
Motto(s)Doctrinam Accingimus Alis (Latin: We equip learning with wings)[1]
EquipmentGrob Tutor T1
Lion passant and guardant in front of red book with white cross

Cambridge University Air Squadron, abbreviated CUAS, formed in 1925, is the training unit of the Royal Air Force at the University of Cambridge and forms part of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. It is the oldest of 15 University Air Squadrons in the UK. For many years it was based at Cambridge Airport at Teversham.


The unit was formed in 1925 and initially operated out a runway located next to RAF Engineering school at Fen causeway in Cambridge.[2] After a brief spell at RAF Duxford,[3] the squadron moved in 1949 to a new home at Cambridge "Marshall's" or "Teversham" Airport where it remained until 1999 and its transfer away to RAF Wyton.[4] 15 years later, the squadron was moved again, to RAF Wittering.[5]

Present day

Cambridge UAS Bulldog T.1 at the unit's 1984 Summer Camp
Cambridge UAS Bulldog T.1 at the unit's 1984 Summer Camp

Cambridge University Air Squadron offers basic flying training and adventure training to undergraduates and graduates and encourages members to take up a career as an officer in one of the branches of the Royal Air Force.

Student members hold the title of Officer Cadet, which carries the privileges, but not the rank, of a commissioned officer. The four senior student members of the squadron are granted commissions in the RAF Volunteer Reserve, with the rank of Acting Pilot Officer. Officer Cadets are required to attend a minimum of one training night a week during full term, usually a lecture by a guest speaker on an aspect of the Royal Air Force or another military unit. They are also expected to take part in two weeks of continuous training during the Long Vacation. There are also camps during all university vacations for sports, flying and adventure training.

CUAS is based at RAF Wittering a station which they share with the University of London Air Squadron, and is equipped with Grob Tutor T Mk 1s.[6] Each officer cadet is offered a Summer Holiday Attachment of one week at another RAF base, seconded to an active regular unit.[7]

The Hack Trophy

The Hack Trophy is awarded annually to the University Air Squadron for best all-round performance covering flying training, flying standards and competitions, ground school training, organisation and administration. Cambridge UAS won the trophy in 1970, 1974, 1975 (the year in which the squadron celebrated its 50th anniversary as the first-formed UAS) and 1977 (runner-up in 1976).

Commanding officers (incomplete)

Notable members


  1. ^ Pine, L.G. (1983). A dictionary of mottoes (1 ed.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 57. ISBN 0-7100-9339X.
  2. ^ "New home for CUAS". Flight Magazine. Royal Aero Club: 630. 10 November 1949. ISSN 0015-3710.
  3. ^ Delve, Ken (2008). The military airfields of Great Britain. Ramsbury: Crowood. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-86126-995-9.
  4. ^ "CUAS - History". Archived from the original on 26 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  5. ^ Moore, Alex (14 April 2014). "New squadrons set for Wittering take-off". Peterborough Telegraph. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  6. ^ Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation : RAF Volunteer Reserve Units Archived 16 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine at
  7. ^ Official RAF webpage. "Cambridge University Air Squadron". ((cite web)): Missing or empty |url= (help)
  8. ^ Kirke, Charles, ed. (2012). Fratricide in battle : (Un)friendly fire. London, England: Continuum International. p. xvii. ISBN 978-1-4411-6164-2.