Aircraft Recce


Indeed - whenever I’ve heard it spoken, I’ve always heard Aircraft Recognition shortened to Air-reck rather than air-recky.

No idea how you’d actually spell that though :wink:

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There are a number of cheap apps with the best one I have used being

Quite straight forward, easy to learn and the quiz it gives you helps understanding. The cadets can just jump in and learn from trial & error.

However, whilst it took a little while to set up I was able to take screen shots of the main aircraft that I wanted to use and (here is the fun bit) -

  1. Make an Aircraft Recognition 'top trump" card set. The cadets can can play straight away without knowing the aircraft but get an understanding of its abilities and characteristics (as well as learn the name and the shape)

  2. Aircraft Guess who? which using two packs help cadets learn the unique features of that aircraft. Both make a big change from the standing in front of the cadets doing a slide show.

Also, one thing I have come across is the Russian naming convention so Fox-bat = Jet fighter, Cub = Prop Cargo, Bear = Prop Bomber etc.

Once you get the aircraft sorted your then free to move on MIlitary Aircraft Systems i.e. Weapons Recognition :slight_smile:


Does anyone have a ready-to-go competition I can steal?

Ideally looking for easy to medium difficulty (as a whole-unit activity) and with around 50% RAF aircraft (although happy to edit it if needs be)


I reckon @Batfink is your friend for this.

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Ahhhh, the old joint recognition journal with fuzzy pictures from BRIXMIS.


I too would be interested in such free loading!


Came up with this in the end


First aircraft slide has an error :slight_smile:


It’s an A and therefore not an RAF aircraft?


I was thinking more that if it is an RAF aircraft then it is just Lightning: they dropped the II.
I’d not spotted it was a Dave-A and I’d chosen to ignore the US markings.


Fair enough.

I’d personally accept either Lightning or Lightning II as an answer!


I’ll chime in on this, as i have a bit of successful experience with Wing and Region events as a cadet. Now back as a CI and our team is in its second year. Came 3rd in the first and won last year.

We stick to ACTO104 where possible. I also always deliver using Powerpoint.

Each session is split into two. the first half is about pictures that i download from Airteam images. Normally 30-40 and a mix of airliners, fast jets and helicopters. The second half then uses a powerpoint that automatically plays 30 slides, exactly like the comp. It even has the timings; so 17 slides counting down, then a 3,2,1 and then the aircraft slide.

We start these tests with 4 second exposures, then move to 3 and for the 2 months before, its 2 secs just like a comp.
After we review each slide and compare answers.

It gets them use to the competition environment and encourages them as well.

Anther important factor is have a staff member that knows the syllabus and, to a degree, industry developments.

Keep it fun, informative and engaging. Don’t just say “its an F15”. Tell them about the aircraft, its role, future developments.

Seems to work for me and my cadets.

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That’s great. But it’s finding the time to put that lot together.


It’s not just having staff knowing the syllabus, they need to be interested in doing it and have an interest in aircraft to the minutiae of what differentiates one version from another.
Even when I was a cadet there were only 4 or 5 staff around the wing who had any interest and it’s no more now.

I can’t see the general relevance of air rec today, compared to when the Air Cadets started, when being able to tell Allied from Axis aircraft was almost vital for people, as my dad and others of his generation have told me, also back then flying was still exciting, unlike now when look up and you hear or see aircraft or evidence of them all over the sky.


Might as well just stop every activity then, heaven forbid people learn something…


And by the time you’ve identified that axis aircraft, it’s too late anyway as they’ve dropped their bombs for that sortie. . .


You have ROC on the coast with powerful binoculars and a phone line. Plenty of time to warn likely targets.

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Very true . . . I was thinking about the youth who were looking up from the streets, that same youth that would have joined the Air Cadets when it started.

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They would have been the same youth that then joined the RAF as air gunners, where knowing what you’re shooting at would have been of somewhat value…

…bringing it more up to date, I know of a number of ex-cadets who, because of their aptitude to air recce, then went on to serve in RAF Intelligence.
Of all the activities we’re still able to do in the cadets, it’s one of the few that actually still directly correlates to an RAF role.


Not sure where I said about stopping people learning, but it is niche as a subject as you need people with a genuine interest and enthusiasm and who can enthuse youngsters and get them to look at endless photos. If you’re not worried that the difference between Mk1 and Mk2 is a different shaped something or addition or lack of something etc etc and can explain it then you are not going to enthuse cadets.
My limit is just about manage doing AK for leading.