The Most Famous RAF Pilot: Ranking the Icons

Choose the pilot you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 18, 2024 07:17
Welcome to StrawPoll, your ultimate destination for settling debates and satisfying your curiosity! Today, we're soaring through the skies and delving into the heroic tales of the Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots who defied the odds and etched their names in history. Join us as we embark on an exhilarating mission to rank the most famous RAF pilots of all time! Will the legendary Douglas Bader secure his spot at the summit, or will the fearless James Brindley Nicolson steal the limelight? Or perhaps you have a wildcard in mind that deserves recognition? Cast your vote now, and if you feel that we've missed any ace pilot, don't hesitate to suggest their name. Together, let's honor these magnificent men and their flying machines, and uncover the quintessential RAF pilot who truly rules the skies!

Who Is the Most Famous RAF Pilot?

  1. 1
    Bader was a Royal Air Force flying ace of World War II. He was credited with 22 aerial victories, four shared victories, six probables, one shared probable and 11 enemy aircraft damaged. He was renowned for his skill in the air and his determination to continue flying despite losing both legs in a flying accident.
    Douglas Bader in other rankings
  2. 2
    Dowding was a Royal Air Force officer who was instrumental in the defeat of the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain in 1940. He was responsible for the development of the tactics and technology that enabled the RAF to win the battle.
  3. 3
    Gibson was a Royal Air Force flying ace of World War II. He was the commanding officer of the famous 617 Squadron, which carried out the "Dambusters" raid in 1943. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery in leading the raid.
  4. 4
    Johnson was a Royal Air Force flying ace of World War II. He was credited with 38 aerial victories, making him the highest-scoring RAF fighter pilot of the war. He was known for his skill in aerial combat and his leadership qualities.
  5. 5
    T. E. Lawrence
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Lawrence was a British Army officer who served in the Royal Air Force during World War I. He was known for his role in the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, as well as for his literary works. He was also involved in the development of the RAF's air power strategy.
  6. 6
    Tuck was a Royal Air Force flying ace of World War II. He was credited with 29 aerial victories, and was known for his skill in dogfighting. He was also a test pilot and a flying instructor.
  7. 7
    Park was a Royal Air Force officer who was instrumental in the defence of London during the Battle of Britain. He was responsible for the air defence of the city, and his tactics and leadership played a key role in the victory.
  8. 8
    Geoffrey Wellum
    PeterPanPan · CC BY 3.0
    Wellum was a Royal Air Force pilot during World War II. He was one of the youngest pilots to fly in the Battle of Britain, and was credited with three aerial victories. He later wrote a memoir of his experiences, which became a bestseller.
  9. 9
    Harris was a Royal Air Force officer who played a key role in the strategic bombing campaign against Germany during World War II. He was the commander-in-chief of Bomber Command, and his controversial tactics led to the destruction of many German cities.
  10. 10
    Frank Whittle
    British Government · Public domain
    Whittle was a Royal Air Force officer and engineer who invented the jet engine. His work paved the way for the development of modern jet aircraft, and revolutionised air travel and warfare.
    Frank Whittle in other rankings

Missing your favorite pilot?


Ranking factors for famous pilot

  1. Accomplishments
    The pilot's achievements and contributions to the RAF and aviation history are essential. Factors such as the number of successful missions, combat victories, and significant contributions to military strategy and tactics should be considered.
  2. Historical Significance
    Assessing the pilot's impact on the course of history is crucial. How their actions influenced the outcome of major battles or campaigns, their role in shaping military aviation, or their participation in historical events can be determining factors.
  3. Recognition and Awards
    Consider the pilot's recognition within the RAF and on a broader scale. Awards, medals, and honors received, including any recognition from other nations, serve as indicators of their fame and distinction.
  4. Popularity
    The pilot's level of fame and recognition among the general public is relevant. This could include factors such as media coverage, appearances in documentaries or films, or the extent to which the pilot's name is known to the general public.
  5. Legacy and Impact
    The pilot's lasting impact on aviation, military strategy, or the RAF itself should also be considered. Their influence on subsequent generations of pilots, the development of aviation technology, or their contributions to post-war initiatives and organizations are important to evaluate.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous RAF pilot. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or pilot is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 183 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each pilot once every 24 hours. The rank of each pilot is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous raf pilot

Background Information: Who is the most famous RAF pilot? The Royal Air Force (RAF) has produced some of the most skilled pilots in aviation history. From flying in World War I to modern-day combat operations, the RAF has a rich history of producing exceptional pilots. However, when it comes to the most famous RAF pilot, there are several contenders. One of the most notable RAF pilots is Douglas Bader, who lost both his legs in a flying accident and went on to become a flying ace during World War II. He was known for his fearless approach to flying and his leadership skills. Another famous RAF pilot is Guy Gibson, who led the daring "Dambusters" raid during World War II. His leadership and bravery in the face of danger earned him the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy. Other famous RAF pilots include Sir Frank Whittle, who invented the jet engine, and Sir Winston Churchill, who was a pilot during World War I and played a critical role in shaping the RAF. Overall, the most famous RAF pilot is a matter of perspective and depends on what criteria are being used to judge. Nevertheless, the RAF has produced some of the most skilled and courageous pilots in history, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of aviation.

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