the start of the Second World War, the British Government looked to the
Empire and Dominions for air training help because the United Kingdom did not have the space to accommodate training and
operational facilities, and because aerodromes in the United Kingdom were vulnerable to enemy attack. The Agreement was
signed by Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand on 17
December 1939, it listed the percentage of trainees each country would send,
the percentage of costs each would take on, the training schedule, and the
aerodrome opening schedule.
Between 1940 and
1945, some 151 schools had been established across Canada with a ground organization of 104,113 men and women.
By the end of the Second World War, the BCATP (Canada) and the EATS
(Australia/NZ) had produced 131,553 aircrew, including pilots, wireless
operators, air gunners, and navigators for the Air Forces of Great Britain,
Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
During the early
war years the RAAF & RNZAF's primary task was
to train aircrew for the RAF under the Empire Air Training Scheme, however
when Japan entered the War both the RAAFs and RNZAF
turned their attentions increasingly to the protection of the Pacific and
their own shores.
When the BCATP and
EATS came to a close on 31 March 1945, the four participating governments had spent CAN $2.2
billion on the training plan, CAN $1.6 billion of which was Canada's proportion.
Elementary training took approximately eight
weeks, which included at least 50 hours of flying. Aircraft commonly used at
Elementary Flying Training Schools were de Havilland Tiger Moths, Fleet
Finches, and FairchildCornells.
Successful trainees then progressed to Service Flying Training Schools for
more advanced instruction. the course length varied
from to 16 weeks, and flying
time varied from 75 to 100 hours. Potential fighter pilots trained on
single-engine North American Harvards while pilots
selected for bomber, coastal, and transport operations received training on
twin-engine Avro Ansons, Cessna Cranes, or Airspeed
Nationality of BCATP
Graduates (19401945) ________________________________ Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm (FAA) ________________________________
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) ________________________________
Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) ________________________________ Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) ________________________________
The CommonwealthAirTrainingPlanMuseum is a non-profit,
charitable organization founded and operated by volunteers. The Museum is
dedicated to preservation of the history of the British
Commonwealth Air Training Plan and honoring those airmen who trained
and served, and especially those who died while serving their country in the
conflict of 1939 -1945. This is the only Museum in Canada
dedicated solely to this goal and we think it is fitting that it is located
in Manitoba where so much of
the training was carried out.