Prince William spent his first day training with the Royal Air Force (RAF) yesterday (07.01.08).

Popular on LondonNet

The 25-year-old royal began his four-month training course, Operation Golden Kestrel, at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, where he will learn to fly transporters, Harrier jump jets, Tornado bombers and helicopters.

The prince – who will be known as Flying Officer William Wales during his course – will first be taught how to pilot a propeller-driven Grob 115E light aircraft, known as the Tutor.

William has already sat a four-hour intensive entrance examination and undertaken full health checks before the course started.

During his training, the prince will find himself learning the basics of piloting by practising in cockpits twice a day, Monday to Friday. He will also have the opportunity to bond with his fellow trainees in the social facilities of the base, including a bar and television room.

But William may have to wait until the weekend before enjoying a pint of beer, as he is banned from drinking alcohol 12 hours before he takes to the skies as part of the “bottle to throttle” rule.

After he masters the Tutor, the prince will be moved to the RAF Linton-on-Ouse airfield in North Yorkshire where he will learn to fly the Tucano T1 plane, and will finally progress to Shropshire’s RAF Shawbury to train on the Squirrel helicopter.

At the end of his course, Prince William will start a four-month placement with the Royal Navy to prepare him for his future role as head of the armed forces.