With the outbreak of World War II, British Royal Air Force (RAF)
officials sought to train aircrews outside of England, safe from
enemy attack and poor weather. In the United States six civilian
flight schools dedicated themselves to instructing RAF pilots; the
first British Flying Training School (BFTS) was located in Terrell,
Texas, east of Dallas. Tom Killebrew explores the history of the
Terrell Aviation School and its programme with RAF pilots. Most of
the early British students had never been in an aeroplane or even
driven a car before arriving in Texas to learn to fly. The cadets
trained in the air on aerobatics, instrument flight and night
flying, while on the ground they studied navigation, meteorology,
engines and armaments - even spending time in early flight
simulators. By the end of the war, more than 2000 RAF cadets had
trained at Terrell, cementing relations between Great Britain and
the United States and forming lasting bonds with the citizens of
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