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Thread: Aircrew Aptitude Tests

  1. #1
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    Default Aircrew Aptitude Tests

    By the end of the war the RAF had developed a suite of 24 aptitude tests for the selection of all six aircrew categories. Does anyone have a listing of these tests or know where I may be able to get more details on each of the tests.

    Your usual help would be much appreciated

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    You could contact the researchers at the RAF Museum or alternatively the Air Historic Branch at RAF Northolt..
    Regards
    Dee

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    Pete,
    I have a copy of a Mental Ability test for aircrew if you would like a copy.
    Alan

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    Pete,

    you mention that the tests were developed by the end of the war. Do you have an estimate as to when these were first administered?

    Kenny Horne
    Edmonton, Canada

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    I have often wondered how accurate these Aptitude Tests were(are?) - and I did them at Biggin Hill. I have been flown in a wide variety of aircraft (Fighters to the Beverley(that flying block of flats!) - and a lot in between!). I have to say that I was most confident, for the most time, in the ex-Polish Master Pilots, etc, of 70 Sqn in the Med in the mid 50's! On the other hand I was, at times, slightly apprehensive of some of the 'fighter pilots' that have been 'up the front office' - particularly in their latter, senior, years when their administrative/command decisions "left something to be desired"! I have also been very impressed with some of the 'Truckie Pilots'. I was privileged to see some very exceptional piloting skills in Falkland on the Airbridge.
    My point is - how do you test for ability? And how do you test for which ability? And how good is the testing?
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    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Thanks to all for the feedback.

    Alan: I would love a copy of the test; could you e-mail to my usual address please. Thanks

    In response to the other points, I am researching the period when aptitude tests moved from the Initial Training Wing to the Aircrew Reception Centre (ie I think this was the time when the Reception and Classification Wings were set up at ACRC London and ACRC Scarborough [April 1944] so that airmen could be sent to specialised ITW.

    I have an article which outlines the development of the tests; a copy is available at www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/p010369.pdf. This may answer some of Peter's points but it does not provide a precise date for their commencement other than early in the war.

    I am looking to see if I can get hold of any of the sources that are cited in the article but not having much luck.

    The two that are of particular interest are:

    D’Arcy, S.H.R.L. (86). Aptitude testing in the Royal Air Force 1939 - 1986. Air Clues, Aug, 86.
    Hobson, C.J. (95b). RAF aircrew selection: validation criteria. DRA/CustomerReport - MOD Report (unpublished).

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 10th February 2015 at 16:31.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    For completeness:

    The RAF Museum has just sent me a copy of the article "Aptitude testing in the Royal Air Force 1939 - 1986" by S.H.R.L D’Arcy which appeared in the Air Clues Magazine, Aug, 86. The article shows that the "24 Aptitude Test" was introduced in April 1944.

    The tests were as follows:

    GEN A General Intelligence GVK (Oxford University)
    GEN B Educational Attainment (Air Ministry)
    GEN C Language and Judgement (Air Ministry)
    GEN D Aviation Information (USAAF)
    GEN E General Science (Air Ministry)
    Matrix A General Mathematics (USAAF)
    Matrix B Mathematical Reasoning (USAAF)
    Matrix C Approximations (USAAF)
    Matrix D Speed in Calculation (USAAF)
    Matrix E Elementary Calculations (Air Ministry)
    Matrix F Table Reading (USAAF)
    Mech A Mechanical Comprehension [Pictures] (USN)
    Mech B Mechanical Comprehension [Diagrams] (Air Ministry)
    Mech C Technical Information (AF)
    Ins A Dial Reading (USAAF)
    Ins B Instrument Interpretation (USAAF)
    Obs A Aerial Photography (USAAF)
    Obs B Map Reading (USAAF)
    Obs C2 Aircraft Silhouettes (USAAF)
    Co-Ord A SMA3 [Pilot Co-ordination] (CME and Cambridge)
    Co-Ord B CBT [Control of Velocity] (Cambridge)
    Co-Ord C Pegboard [Finger Dexterity] (USAAF)
    Co-Ord D Turret Manipulations (Air Ministry)
    Morse A Morse Record (USN)

    The information in () shows the organisation that developed the test.

    I have more details if anyone needs further information.

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 21st February 2015 at 19:44.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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