We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Royal Air Force (RAF)?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the aerial wing of the British armed forces. It maintains a fleet of aircraft and supporting personnel to accomplish its goals of defending the United Kingdom and its allies, supporting British foreign policy objectives, and being “a force for good in the world,” according to the its stated mission. Like many air forces around the world, its nature and goals have changed dramatically since its inception, with a much heavier emphasis on humanitarian work in contrast with its solely military objectives in the early 20th century.

The RAF was founded on 01 April 1918, succeeding the Royal Flying Corps. It went on to be one of the most distinctive, venerable, and famous air forces in the world. Its planes and pilots dominated the skies in the First and Second World Wars, playing a vital role in defending Britain from invasion while also offering offensive tactics. The RAF Fighter Command in particular has become iconic, thanks to the exploits of fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain.

Like other air forces, the RAF has an assortment of planes for various tasks, including transport aircraft, bombers, and fighters, and it also maintains helicopters, drones, stealth planes, and experimental aircraft. A staff of over 40,000 active personnel supports the RAF, with several thousand in reserves. Most planes and personnel are based in Great Britain, with a few on established overseas bases such as the Falklands.

The motto of the RAF is per ardua ad astra, which translates as “to the stars through hard work.” The head of the command structure is the Air Force Board, which issues directives to commands, who in turn pass orders through groups, stations, wings, squadrons, and flights, respectively. RAF personnel, in addition to pilots, includes ground crews, chaplains, medical staff, engineers, legal personnel, intelligence officers, and air traffic controllers, among others. In addition to being involved in military operations, the RAF also assists with humanitarian operations ranging from evacuation to the delivery of supplies to people in need all over the world.

As is common with branches of the military, the RAF is organized along very strict lines, and there is a precise code of behavior which dictates everything from how people wear their hats to the correct method for ordering a tactical strike in the battlefield. Working for the RAF isn't all strict rules and arduous training, however; it also sponsors social clubs, sports teams, and a variety of other activities for its members for the purpose of building camaraderie and morale.

For those who like interesting tidbits of military history, by tradition, only commissioned officers in the RAF are saluted. Such salutes are actually salutes to the authority of the Queen's Commission, not the officers themselves, with the salutes being returned on behalf of the Queen.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WikiMotors researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.