This week, the rotary element of the UK Military Flying Training System (MFTS) achieved the auspicious milestone of 20,000 flying hours on the Juno fleet of 29 helicopters. The fleet is used to train military helicopter aircrew from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force along with 3 Jupiter helicopters as part of the UK MFTS.
Group Captain Chris Mullen, the Station Commander at RAF Shawbury and Commandant of the Defence Helicopter Flying School said: “I am delighted to see 20,000 hours on the Juno fleet being achieved and I congratulate all those who have made it happen. This is another important milestone in the project and testament to the co-operation and strengthening relationship with our partners Ascent and Airbus.”
The Juno and Jupiter are a step change from the previous Squirrel and Griffin training helicopters. Both helicopters now offer trainees greater insight into multi-engine, glass cockpit helicopter operations and avionics systems usage. The Defence Helicopter Flying School is already graduating aircrew to front line squadrons where they will be better prepared to join front line operations.
The Ascent General Manager at RAF Shawbury, Mr Harry Palmer said: “Ascent is now the world-leading fleet operator of the new Airbus H135 HELIONIX aircraft series, having clocked up over 20,000 flying hours with its fleet of 29 Juno helicopters. These are used to train the next generation of military aircrew with the glass and digital cockpits providing superior transition to the aircraft used in operational units.”