How well do you know the RAF?

2020 marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The Battle of Britain served not only as an example of the importance of airpower in warfare, but also highlighted the important role played in the battle by the members of allied nations. 

The Battle of Britain was the first major defeat of Hitler’s military forces and is regarded by several historians as a crucial turning point of the Second World War. Winston Churchill summed up the effect of the battle and the contribution of the RAF with the words, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”.

Why not test out your RAF knowledge by completing this short quiz?

Which aircraft made its maiden test flight on March 5, 1936?

1. Douglas Havoc
2. Supermarine Spitfire
3. de Havilland Mosquito
4. Hawker Hurricane

The Vickers Supermarine Spitfire stayed in front-line service until 1954.

The year the first female jet pilot flew in the RAF was?

1. 1989
2. 1971
3. 1998
4. 1994

Flight Lieutenant Jo Salter in 1994, flying a Panavia Tornado.

What was the nickname of the Royal Air Force 617 Squadron of World War II?

1. The Factorybusters
2. The Dambusters
3. The Trainstoppers

The elite unit nicknamed "the Dambusters" was formed to conduct a bombing raid on Germany's Ruhr valley dams 'Operation Chastise'

What year was the RAF Formed?

1. 1918
2. 1917
3. 1919
4. 1921

Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world

When did the Royal Air Force begin World War II operations?

1. 1939
2. 1943
3. 1940
4. 1941

On Sept. 3, 1939, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared war on Germany, and the Royal Air Force began operations the same day. Flying Officer Andrew McPherson piloted the first Royal Air Force aircraft across the German frontier in a reconnaissance mission.

What was the heaviest bomb used by the Royal Air Force in World War II?

1. The Grand Slam
2. Little boy
3. Blockbuster
4. Tallboy

The Grand Slam weighed 22,000 pounds (10,000 kilograms) and required bomb bay modification of most Royal Air Force bombers.

How many crew members were needed to fly the Lancaster Bomber?

1. 10
2. 8
3. 5
4. 7

The Lancaster bomber required a crew of seven and was used in more than 156,000 missions in World War II.

What was the first British fighter jet to be used in the RAF?

1. The Hawker Sea Hawk
2. The Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star
3. The Gloster Meteor
4. The Hawker Hunter

The Meteor first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with No. 616 Squadron RAF.

The RAF Motto is ‘Per Ardua ad Astra’ – What is this Latin for?

1. Protecting the Skies
2. Protecting the nations
3. Champions of the skies
4. Through Adversity to the Stars

The RAF website suggests that the motto came from an officer who had come across the words in a book by Rider Haggard

The Royal Air Force was formed as a separate military service with its own ministry.

1. True
2. False

 The Royal Air Force was formed as a separate military service with its own ministry.

All 10 questions completed!


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How well do you know the RAF?

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