British Scouts have been involved in aviation since the early days of aviation. The first UK Scout Group known to have built and flown their own glider were East Grinstead who flew for 200 feet at an altitude of 25 feet, in 1912.
The first powered aircraft to be owned by UK Scouts was an Airco DH.6 presented to 3rd Hampden (Middlesex) Scouts in 1921.
The idea of Air Scouts as a distinct unit was resisted for many years, becoming an official branch of Scouting in 1941.
The Scout Association bought their first glider in 1959, and operated an Air Activity Centre at Lasham, near Alton in Hampshire, until 1978.
Currently around 10% of all Scouts in the UK are in one of the 160 Air Scout Troops or Explorer Units. An Air Scout Troop can apply to become recognised with the Royal Air Force and thus can receive special opportunities and trips.
This RAF Recognition is subject to a regular 18 month inspection by a designated RAF Reserve Officer.
Air Scouting is also provided for within the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association.