Take up your binoculars, observe the skies, and learn to recognise an Airbus from a Boeing
How to earn your badge:
Learn to recognise 38 out of the 50 aircraft listed in The Scout Association’s Aircraft Recognition List:
- BAe Hawk
- BAe / McDonnell-Douglas Harrier II
- Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon
- Lockheed Martin F35 Lightning II
- Eurofighter Typhoon
- McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle
- McDonnell-Douglas F-18 Hornet
- Panavia Tornado
- SAAB Gripen
- McDonnell Douglas F-22 Raptor
- Dassault Rafale
- Sukhoi Su-27/30/35 Flanker
Large military aircraft
- Airbus A400M
- Boeing C-17 Globemaster
- Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker/E-3 Sentry
- Lockheed C-130/J Hercules
Light and executive aircraft
- BAe Jetstream 32/41
- Cessna 150/152
- Grumman Gulfstream 2/3/4/5
- Piper PA-28 Cherokee
- Beechcraft King Air
- Robin DR.400/500 series
- Cessna Citation
- Grob Tutor G115E
- McDonnell Douglas MD-900 Explorer
- Boeing-Vertol CH-47 Chinook
- Eurocopter EC135
- McDonnell-Douglas AH-64 Apache
- Robinson R-22/R-44
- Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma
- Agusta Westland Merlin
- Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk
- Sikorsky S-92
- Aerospatiale/Aeritalia ATR-42/72
- Airbus A-318/319/320/321
- Airbus A-350
- Airbus A-380
- Boeing 737
- Boeing 747
- Boeing 777
- Boeing 787 Dreamliner
- Bombardier Dash-8
- Bombardier Regional Jet CRJ700/900/1000
- Embraer ERJ-135/145
- Embraer EMB170/190
- Hawker Hurricane
- Supermarine Spitfire
- Avro Vulcan
- Avro Lancaster
Complete one of these activities:
- By yourself or with another Scout, take photographs or collect pictures of at least 10 different aircraft types.
Name the different types and their uses.
- Visit an airfield or airport viewing area, for at least an hour.
Record the aircraft you spot, including any distinctive features and the aircraft’s approximate heading.
Complete one of these activities: (2)
- Recognise and name the national aircraft markings, both service and civil, of at least six countries including the United Kingdom.
- Learn the RAF and NATO system of letter designation according to aircraft function.
Give examples of three designations.
- Name three basic training aircraft used in private flying.
Give a brief report on one, naming a club and airfield where it is used.
Try to make it a local airfield, if possible.
Describe the main features you would use to recognise six aircraft, which have been chosen by an appropriate adult.
- RAF aircraft - images and information about the RAF’s active aircraft
- Air-Britain aviation image library
- Jetphotos.com - an aviation photography website
- Aviationpix.co.uk - aviation photography by photographer Steve Crampton
- Planespotter.org - a database of aircraft and photos
- Online aircraft recognition quizzes - quizzes on an aircraft recognition website
- Dean Hatcher (Training Officer, RAFAC)
- 20th Stourbridge (Halfpenny Green) Air Scouts
- Sqn Ldr Paul Harrap (RAF Cranwell)
- Clint Marler (UK Specialist Adviser – Air Scouts)
Requirements can be adapted to suit each young persons abilities. See our guidance on flexibility.