Prince Philip began his flying training in November, 1952 at White Waltham near Maidenhead and received his Royal Air Force wings in May, 1953. He commenced helicopter training in June, 1955 and completed the conversion course in January, 1956, receiving his Royal Navy wings. In 1959 he gained his private pilot’s licence and in 1965 he received Army Air Corps wings after flights in two of its helicopters. He regularly piloted aircraft of The Queen’s Flight in his tours around the world.
The Duke of Edinburgh was also interested in flying as a recreation and this was reflected in several of his patronages. He was Royal Aeronautical Society Honorary Fellow, Honorary Life Member of the Royal Aero Club and a Grand Master of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (now the Honourable Company of Air Pilots). From 1959 His Royal Highness was an Honorary Member of the Tiger Club and from 1966 he chaired the Panel of Judges who awarded the prize for its Dawn to Dusk competition.
The Duke of Edinburgh personally approved the citations for the GAPAN Prince Philip Helicopter Rescue Awards and The Tiger Club’s Dawn to Dusk Competition created ‘The Duke of Edinburgh Trophy’ in his honour.
During the course of his flying career The Duke of Edinburgh logged 5,986 flying hours in over sixty different types of aircraft, including Concorde.