Greater Manchester Wing

RAF Air Cadets

The Air Training Corps (Air Cadets) is a voluntary, uniformed, youth organisation supported by the Royal Air Force. It is open to anyone aged 12 (and in Year 8) to 20. It is considered one of the country's premier youth organisations and the world's largest youth air training organisation.


You may join once you are in Year 8 at school; and the maximum joining age is the day before your 17th birthday. Aside from flying, sports, target shooting, adventure training and great fun? You’ll soon find that being an air cadet is its own reward! The Wing covers the Greater Manchester Area, Warrington and part of Cheshire East. There are over 1000 Air Cadets in Greater Manchester Wing, located at one of our 35 units. This means that where ever you are in Manchester, there is an Air Cadet unit near you. The Air Training Corps wholeheartedly supports the principles and implementation of equal opportunities and opposes all forms of discrimination. It is the clear aim of the ATC to make full use of the talents and resources of all.

Adult Volunteers

Over cadet age? We are always looking for adult volunteers to help make these activities a reality for our Air Cadets. We are looking for people to fill posts as Civilian Instructors, Chaplains, Uniformed staff and Civilian Committee members… the opportunities to make a difference are endless!

What do Air Cadets do?

You name it, there is a good chance there is an Air Cadet somewhere doing it! Air Cadets provides a stimulating, exciting and varied program which ensures that all cadets achieve their full potential. This may come in many different ways including academics, sport, flying, gliding, skiing, adventure training, citizenship, leadership training and in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. You will soon find that being an Air Cadet is its own reward - you constantly see the benefits of your own efforts, building on your achievements.

When and where do Air Cadets meet?

Most Squadrons will meet twice a week during which cadets are able to take part in many activities, as well as planning for additional ones. There are also numerous weekend events and activities, provided by the Squadrons. Additional activities are organised by the Wing, North Region and the Corps. These can take place at RAF Stations, Defence Training Establishments and even abroad and can last a lot longer than just a weekend. Your local Squadron is always looking for new people to join, be it as a cadet, volunteer staff or as a member of a Squadrons Civilian Committee.

How can you find out more?

Why not see where your nearest Squadron is and see how you could get involved? There are 35 Air Cadet units in the Greater Manchester area, so there will be one near where you live!

The aims of the Air Cadets

  • to promote and encourage among young people a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force
  • to provide training which will be useful in the Services and civilian life
  • to foster the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship
All cadets and adult volunteers agree to be bound by a code of conduct and to uphold the ethos and core values of the Air Training Corps. While we are still part of the Royal Air Force, our role is not to recruit for the armed forces. We do develop a strong sense of service among our cadets, and today many of our 40,000+ cadets do move on to careers that support society. Many front-line jet pilots are former cadets, but many more develop careers in the public and private sectors.