Despite being an officer in the British Army, today Prince William flew solo for the first time as he trains with the RAF for around 4 months.

The Prince is undergoing an intensive training session at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

Prince William will one day, as King, become Head of Britain's Armed Forces so he is determined to experience life in all three major services - Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force.

After his RAF training ends in April he will then experience traing in the Royal Navy for a few months.

Flying high: Prince William takes to the skies for his first solo flight

17th January 2008
Daily Mail

Ecstatic Prince William has described the "amazing feeling" of flying a plane by himself for the first time during his Royal Air Force course.

The 25-year-old royal is eight days into an intensive flying course in Lincolnshire.

The Prince piloted a propeller-driven Grob 115E light aircraft around an airfield at RAF Cranwell yesterday where he is stationed with 1 Squadron of 1 Elementary Flying Training School.

Officer Wales: Prince William is enjoying his action man role

Getting ready for take off: William with his instructor Roger Bousfield

William admitted he was stunned when his instructor told him he was ready to fly solo.

He said: "God knows how somebody trusted me with an aircraft and my own life.

"It was an amazing feeling, I couldn't believe it.

"I was doing a few circuits going round and round then Roger my instructor basically turned round and said 'right I'm going to jump out now' and I said 'what, where are you going?'.

Concentration: Prince William is an able student

Reflection: Prince William relives his first solo flight after landing

"He said 'you're going on your own' and I said 'there's no way I'm going to do that' but he said I was ready for it and jumped out.

"The next thing I knew I was taxiing down the runway and I was sitting there saying 'oh my god this is a bit odd, there's no one in here'.

"Once I'd taken off it was fine, you just remember your checks and do all the things you've got to do and fly the circuit.

Sky high: Prince William takes charge of the plane

Ecstatic: The delight on William's face is clear to see

"Then I was watching the runway getting closer and closer and thinking, please, please don't mess this up."

William is following in the footsteps of his father Prince Charles, who earned his wings over 35 years ago.

He enthused: "The course is going really well.

"It's been a bit frustrating with the weather but considering the short space of time I've had here, it's quite nice to go up as much as we have."

Gearing up: Prince William with his instructor Roger Bousfield

Taking in the view: Prince William flying over Lincolnshire