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Aircraft recognition list

This list was updated in June 2018. The previous list can still be used until 31 May 2019, to allow for transition where necessary.

This list of aircraft has been produced for the Scout Air Spotter Activity Badge. It is a representative range of aircraft in current use, most of which are regularly seen in this country.

Combat aircraft

  1. BAe Hawk
  2. BAe / McDonnell-Douglas Harrier II
  3. Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon
  4. Lockheed Martin F35 Lightning II
  5. Eurofighter Typhoon
  6. McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle
  7. McDonnell-Douglas F-18 Hornet
  8. Panavia Tornado
  9. SAAB Gripen
  10. McDonnell Douglas F-22 Raptor
  11. Dassault Rafale
  12. Sukhoi Su-27/30/35 Flanker

Large military aircraft

  1. Airbus A400M
  2. Boeing C-17 Globemaster
  3. Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker/E-3 Sentry
  4. Lockheed C-130/J Hercules

Light and executive aircraft

  1. BAe Jetstream 32/41
  2. Cessna 150/152
  3. Grumman Gulfstream 2/3/4/5
  4. Piper PA-28 Cherokee
  5. Beechcraft King Air
  6. Robin DR.400/500 series
  7. Cessna Citation
  8. LearJet
  9. Grob Tutor G115E


  1. McDonnell Douglas MD-900 Explorer
  2. Boeing-Vertol CH-47 Chinook
  3. Eurocopter EC135
  4. McDonnell-Douglas AH-64 Apache
  5. Robinson R-22/R-44
  6. Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma
  7. Agusta Westland Merlin
  8. Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk
  9. Sikorsky S-92 


  1. Aerospatiale/Aeritalia ATR-42/72
  2. Airbus A-318/319/320/321
  3. Airbus A-350
  4. Airbus A-380
  5. Boeing 737
  6. Boeing 747
  7. Boeing 777
  8. Boeing 787 Dreamliner
  9. Bombardier Dash-8
  10. Bombardier Regional Jet CRJ700/900/1000
  11. Embraer ERJ-135/145
  12. Embraer EMB170/190

Heritage aircraft

  1. Hawker Hurricane
  2. Supermarine Spitfire
  3. Avro Vulcan
  4. Avro Lancaster

Useful links

RAF aircraft - images and information about the RAF’s active aircraft
Air-Britain aviation image library
Jetphotos.com - an aviation photography website
Aviationpix.co.uk - aviation photography by photographer Steve Crampton 
Planespotter.org - a database of aircraft and photos
Online aircraft recognition quizzes - quizzes on an aircraft recognition website


Dean Hatcher (Training Officer, RAFAC)
20th Stourbridge (Halfpenny Green) Air Scouts
Sqn Ldr Paul Harrap (RAF Cranwell)
Clint Marler (UK Specialist Adviser – Air Scouts)

Updated: June 2018


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