The Royal International Air Tattoo
Flying Scholarships for the Disabled
in memory of
Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader CBE DSO* DFC*

Our Heritage

In 1983 Paul Bowen and Tim Prince, on behalf of the Royal International Air Tattoo, inaugurated Flying Scholarships for the Disabled to perpetuate the indomitable spirit of air ace Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader. After losing both legs in an accident, Sir Douglas persisted in his efforts against all odds to resume his flying career with the Royal Air Force. He went on to achieve fame in World War II as a fighter pilot and gifted leader and pursued his talent for flying into a long and successful civilian career.

Sir Douglas was a dedicated supporter of disabled people to whom he set a great example of courage and determination. He personally devoted much time to encouraging countless people to come to terms with their physical disabilities.


From 1976, until his death in 1982, he was President of The Royal International Air Tattoo and was an inspiration to the many volunteers committed to raising funds for the relief of hardship and distress amongst past and present members of the Royal Air Force and their dependents.

Based on the Royal International Air Tattoo's logo this is the
Pilot's Brevet awarded to Scholars

The Fulfilment of our Aims
Although the primary aim of the scheme is to give disabled people the opportunity to realise their full potential through the pleasure, the thrill and freedom of flying, a few students complete sufficient flying to qualify for a Private Pilots Licence.

Nearly 250 disabled people have participated in the scholarship scheme, several are paraplegic, and others are disabled as a result, for example, of cerebral palsy, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, ME, spina bifida and poliomyelitis.

All students who can satisfy their Chief Flying Instructor during a general handling flying test that they have reached an acceptable standard of competence, compatible with the nature of their disability, are awarded the Flying Scholarships for the Disabled badge. For more information about FSD UK
click here