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Leading aircraftman (LAC) or leading aircraftwoman (LACW)[1][2] is an enlisted rank used by some air forces, with origins from the Royal Air Force. The rank is used by air forces of many countries that have historical British influence.

Leading aircraftman is usually immediately senior to aircraftman and immediately below senior aircraftman. The rank was renamed air specialist (class 2) (AS2) in the Royal Air Force in July 2022.[3]


The rank originated in the Royal Air Force, when it was formed in 1918. It replaced the Royal Flying Corps rank of air mechanic 1st class (which wore the same badge). It was only a trade classification until 1 January 1951, when it became a rank, although it is non-supervisory.


Leading aircraftman is a rank in the Royal Australian Air Force (which uses a single chevron rather than a propeller device) where it is the senior aircraftman rank.[4]


It was a rank until 1968 in the Royal Canadian Air Force being replaced by the army rank of private after unification, which then in 2015 was replaced by aviator (basic).

New Zealand

In the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the rank is awarded after three years of service or completion of a senior trade course, whichever comes first.

Leading air cadet (LAC) in the New Zealand Air Training Corps also uses the propeller badge. It is not technically a rank (although many units regard it as a very junior NCO rank), and may be awarded to cadets who have attended a minimum of thirty parades, or completed one year in a unit. The rank is generally awarded to those cadets who show obvious leadership skill.


See also


  1. ^ "RAF Distinguishing Insignia" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  2. ^ RAF website
  3. ^ RAF Ranks
  4. ^ "Ranks". Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  5. ^ "Ranks | Air Force". Royal Australian Air Force. Archived from the original on 25 October 2023. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  6. ^ "Badges of rank" (PDF). Department of Defence (Australia). Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  7. ^ "Airmen Ranks". Archived from the original on 10 February 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Rank Structure". Ghana Air Force. 2018. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2024.
  9. ^ "For Airmen". Indian Air Force. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  10. ^ "Government Notice" (PDF). Government Gazette of the Republic of Namibia. Vol. 4547. 20 August 2010. pp. 99–102. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Badges of Rank" (PDF). New Zealand Defence Force. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  12. ^ "Non-Commissioned Ranks". Sri Lanka Air Force. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  13. ^ "RANKS AND BADGES IN THE AFZ". Air Force of Zimbabwe. Archived from the original on 9 June 2022. Retrieved 29 May 2021.