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Scouts Air Spotter Activity Badge

Scouts Air Spotter Activity Badge

Air Spotter badge

Take up your binoculars, observe the skies, and learn to recognise an Airbus from a Boeing

How to earn your badge:

  1. Learn to recognise 38 out of the 50 aircraft listed in The Scout Association’s Aircraft Recognition List:

    Combat aircraft   

    1. BAe Hawk
    2. BAe / McDonnell-Douglas Harrier II   
    3. Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon   
    4. Lockheed Martin F35 Lightning II   
    5. Eurofighter Typhoon   
    6. McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle   
    7. McDonnell-Douglas F-18 Hornet   
    8. Panavia Tornado   
    9. SAAB Gripen   
    10. McDonnell Douglas F-22 Raptor   
    11. Dassault Rafale   
    12. Sukhoi Su-27/30/35 Flanker

    Large military aircraft   

    1. Airbus A400M   
    2. Boeing C-17 Globemaster   
    3. Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker/E-3 Sentry   
    4. Lockheed C-130/J Hercules

    Light and executive aircraft   

    1. BAe Jetstream 32/41   
    2. Cessna 150/152   
    3. Grumman Gulfstream 2/3/4/5   
    4. Piper PA-28 Cherokee   
    5. Beechcraft King Air   
    6. Robin DR.400/500 series   
    7. Cessna Citation   
    8. LearJet   
    9. Grob Tutor G115E


    1. McDonnell Douglas MD-900 Explorer   
    2. Boeing-Vertol CH-47 Chinook   
    3. Eurocopter EC135   
    4. McDonnell-Douglas AH-64 Apache   
    5. Robinson R-22/R-44   
    6. Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma   
    7. Agusta Westland Merlin   
    8. Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk   
    9. Sikorsky S-92


    1. Aerospatiale/Aeritalia ATR-42/72   
    2. Airbus A-318/319/320/321   
    3. Airbus A-350   
    4. Airbus A-380   
    5. Boeing 737   
    6. Boeing 747   
    7. Boeing 777   
    8. Boeing 787 Dreamliner   
    9. Bombardier Dash-8   
    10. Bombardier Regional Jet CRJ700/900/1000   
    11. Embraer ERJ-135/145   
    12. Embraer EMB170/190

    Heritage aircraft   

    1. Hawker Hurricane   
    2. Supermarine Spitfire   
    3. Avro Vulcan   
    4. Avro Lancaster
  2. Complete one of these activities:
    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  3. Complete one of these activities: (2)
    1. Recognise and name the national aircraft markings, both service and civil, of at least six countries including the United Kingdom.
    2. Learn the RAF and NATO system of letter designation according to aircraft function.

      Give examples of three designations.

    3. 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.

  4. Describe the main features you would use to recognise six aircraft, which have been chosen by an appropriate adult.


    • Dean Hatcher (Training Officer, RAFAC)  
    • 20th Stourbridge (Halfpenny Green) Air Scouts   
    • Sqn Ldr Paul Harrap (RAF Cranwell)   
    • Clint Marler (UK Specialist Adviser – Air Scouts)

May 2024.

Requirements can be adapted to suit each young persons abilities. See our guidance on flexibility.

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