sábado, 12 de enero de 2019

Australia da de baja sus CT-4 Parrots en favor de los impresionantes PC-21

BAE and The ADF Prepare to Farewell the CT-4 Basic Trainers

CT-4 Parrots basic trainers (photo : Darren Mottram)

They called them parrots, or even plastic parrots, the brightly painted CT-4 basic trainers in which a generation of Australian Defence Force (ADF) pilots made a first, anxious solo flight.

Soon the CT-4 will end ADF service for a second time, with the final RAAF and Navy basic flying course winding up in February and the final, single service class of Army pilots finishing up next October.

At that point, the ADF association with the CT-4 will end, along with its association with Tamworth, NSW – home since 1993 to what is now the Australian Defence Force Basic Flying Training School (BFTS).

The 30 strong CT-4 flypast (photo : Darren Mottram)

The history of the CT-4 with the ADF parallels the evolution of basic defence flight training, from a time when each service had particular and different requirements: when RAAF pilots flew helicopters as well as fast jets; when Navy pilots operated from aircraft carriers; and Army pilots mostly flew fixed-wing aircraft.

Starting in January, the first training course involving aspiring pilots begins at the reformed 1 Flying Training School (1FTS), East Sale, Victoria on the new Pilatus PC-21.

For the very large number of pilots who learned to fly in CT-4s at Tamworth, it is the sad end of an era.

Cockpit of CT-4 Parrots (photo : Darren Mottram)

“I was a student at BFTS, I have been an instructor at BFTS and now I am the CO. To me it’s quite personal,” said Wing Commander Leigh Dunnett, the BFTS commanding officer.

“I have had three postings into Tamworth. It’s always been an awesome community to live in – the people are great, friendly and supportive.

Cockpit of Pilatus PC-21 (photo : Air International)

“We have put through nearly 2,300 students at BFTS since 1999. Over 4,000 flight screening students have been through since 1993 and we have operated in excess of 280,000 flying hours.”

And all that achieved without losing an aircraft, let alone a pilot.

WGCDR Dunnett, who has logged 1,500 hours on CT-4B aircraft, said it was known as an easy aircraft to fly but difficult to fly well.

RAAF PC-21 aircraft (photo : Wal Nelowkin)

“It’s a robust and forgiving aircraft that has proven itself with students at its controls over the last 19 years,” he said.

“It stalls very predictably. It doesn’t have much performance, but once you master the energy of the aircraft it sets you up for success on others.”

See full article Australian Aviation

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