In 1935 a group of RAF amateurs stationed at the Electrical and Wireless School at Cranwell began regular meetings to discuss their technical problems. It was decided to form a society and in 1936 the Cranwell Amateur Radio Transmitting Society (CARTS) was founded under the leadership of Wally Dunn G2LR. CARTS membership grew rapidly and a headquarters station was established with the callsign G8FC. In 1937 the CARTS journal QRV was inaugurated to keep members at home and overseas in the picture. In 1938 membership increased rapidly and it was recognised that a Royal Air Force Society was needed and so RAFARS was founded based at RAF Cranwell. The Society went into suspense during World War II and activities were subsequently resumed in 1947. The move of No. 1 Radio School from Cranwell to Locking necessitated a move of Headquarters on 1st October 1951 1997 saw G8FC and G8RAF move to RAF Cosford but the Headquarters remained at Locking. During 1998, due to the closure of RAF Locking the HQ moved to it's present location at RAF Cosford.
Aims of the Society
The aims of the Society are to promote and foster amateur radio activities within the Royal Air Force and, through Amateur Radio, to maintain and foster the close bonds that exist between radio amateurs who are serving in the Royal Air Force and those who have retired from, or have close links with, the Royal Air Force.
What the Society does
Conducts radio nets; locally on VHF FM, all modes inter-G and World Wide on HF. Publishes 'QRV', the Society's Magazine, twice yearly and a list of members in Callbook form at 18 month intervals with supplements every 6 months. Produces TALKING 'QRV', a tape version of 'QRV'. Operates a QSL Bureau for the exchange of members' cards within the Society and with RNARS and RSARS Bureau. Operates an Area Representative scheme and an office at its Headquarters to enable members to remain in close touch with Society affairs. Negotiates directly with the Radio Communications Agency for the issue of Special Event callsigns for RAF, ATC, RAFARS and relates events. Exhibits, by means of a dedicated Special Events and Show Team and through it's Area Representatives, at many rallies and conventions throughout the country and operates many Special Event Stations under it's GB*RAF callsigns. Operates an Internet Website and publishes, each month, a Newsletter, both on the Website and through Packet Radio. Holds closed contests for RAFARS members and enters the national Affiliated Clubs' Contests. Encourages and assists with the formation of amateur radio clubs at RAF Stations and ATC Units and encourages their affiliation to RAFARS.