RAF VALLEY reached a significant milestone in the delivery of military fast jet training recently with the first flight of a student pilot in the new Texan T1 aircraft.
The Texan T1 is a tandem-seat turboprop aircraft, equipped with the latest digital glass cockpit and mission simulation systems. A technological step change from the Tucano that it replaces, the Texan is aligned with the 4th and 5th generation combat aircraft that the trainee pilots will fly in their front-line careers.
Wing Commander Chris Ball, Officer Commanding the Texan Integration Squadron – soon to be 72 Squadron – at RAF Valley explains:
“Under the Military Flying Training System, fighter pilots will train on world-leading aircraft. They start on the Prefect, move on to the Texan and finish on the Hawk T2, making the training process more efficient and far more representative of the aircraft types they will eventually fly. The Texan is the ideal lead-in trainer to the Hawk T2 advanced jet trainer that they will move on to here at Valley.”
The basing of the Texan T1’s at RAF Valley means that two-thirds of fast jet pilot training for the RAF and Royal Navy will take place at the Anglesey base under the Military Flying Training System. Training delivery is a partnership between the Ministry of Defence and Ascent Flight Training.