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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 10th Oct 2015, 18:28
  #621 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Peterborough
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The cadets have virtually no opportunity to fly and are leaving in droves. My son has had one 20 min slot in a Tudor in his 2 years with the cadets.
Okay, gliding may not be happening across the ACO, AEF is happening in all locations, except those Wings/Sqns affiliated to 5 AEF. But what about getting in ouch with multi-engine units of RAF or, dare I say, talk to AAC; we've had cadets up in helicopters several times this year.

And as for cadets not getting the opportunities of activities, that is usually down to OC Sqns, not to the ACO as a whole. I have seen it many times where OCs don't spread opportunities around for various reasons.
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 18:31
  #622 (permalink)  
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Comments by Commandant AC suggest that far from rectification being near completion, decisions have yet to be made on "where, when and by whom!"
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Old 11th Oct 2015, 09:35
  #623 (permalink)  
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I think you will find that most of the where, who & when decisions have been made and as it is a single source contract the greater financial oversight has to be gone over before the project can go ahead at full steam.

The ball will soon be firmly in the court of the type certificate holders and RAF supply system to provide appropriate support as the contractors and their sub contractors are tooled up with all the technical issues under control and just awaiting the green light to proceed as quickly as they can.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 07:57
  #624 (permalink)  
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One of my mates on FB said that apparently Viggies all going to be binned as need new engines and wings all cracked or something? Sounds like my old winch mates willbe ok but no motorglidders?
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 08:35
  #625 (permalink)  
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ALL Vigilant's need new engines and have wing cracks?! Hmmm........unlikely I'd say!
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 10:55
  #626 (permalink)  
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Can't believe that about the Vigilants for a minute.

I could believe it as a strategy for getting a new replacement provided. Such as the Ximango for instance

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Old 13th Oct 2015, 13:17
  #627 (permalink)  
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New engines! I'd heard that rumour, but from memory, Grob initially offered a different power plant and 3 bladed C/S prop. (Tutor prop replacement anyone?)
What do they think they'll fit now???? A diesel engine like the winches?
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 14:35
  #628 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Fluffy Bunny
What do they think they'll fit now????
There was a Grob 109B modified with a Rotax engine at AeroFriedrichshafen earlier this year. It was the object of some interest by RAF visitors.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 15:20
  #629 (permalink)  
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I saw a G109 fitted with a 912 when I flew the G120TP and G520T out of Grob's base at Tussenhausen-Mattsies a few months back.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 15:39
  #630 (permalink)  
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Does that mean that Grob would restart production for the Airframe and supply new airframe and engine combinations ?

I'm sure there would be a civilian market for this as well as a MoD Production run..............

Interesting thought. I wonder what the performance is like. There is the added complexity of reduction gearboxes and liquid cooling to consider. Nothing major really for RAF type use & servicing.................

Grob could take back the old Vigilants in exchange and re-engine them to defray the costs.


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Old 13th Oct 2015, 16:29
  #631 (permalink)  
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My understanding is that the new engine project was slated to be procured from the 2015/16 budget. They decided to keep the back-to-flying programme and the re-engine programmes separate (you know, because it is far more efficient to have a whole fleet run through major maintenance twice, and re-train all the crews twice). As a result, the engine programme budget has been lost, and will have to be re-allocated as and when. Probably a good thing. Besides, they aircraft obviously haven't flown the hours they were projected to over the last 18 months, so in theory the moment they're flying in earnest again, the stopwatch will be restarted.

IFAIA, the engine is expected to be a Rotax 912 variant - hopefully the certified 100hp version and a modern efficient propeller. (Would be lovely to have a 914 and get a decent climb rate, but that's probably too much engine management left in the hands of nervous 16 year olds unless they come up with a single leaver option).

You'd think a bit of fuel, oil and water would be 'nothing major really', but the way the RAF/MAA thinks, daily servicing appears to be a minefield for unqualified persons - ie mere pilots.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 16:44
  #632 (permalink)  
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I know what you mean Dusty, and in the real world it's mostly only fuel. We use a EuroFox as the primary tug at one of the clubs I fly from, fitted with a 912iS - and some days it works pretty hard.
AFAIK although we check regularly the coolant has NEVER needed topping up. It does take a teacup of oil every couple of weeks.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 19:38
  #633 (permalink)  
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Well, as already discussed, the VGS OCs have been summoned to Syerston the weekend after next. They're to be briefed by AOC 22Gp personally. 1hr meeting, nothing else scheduled, for chaps that are travelling from all corners of the country. (6hr drive from Preddannack, 8hrs from Kinloss.)

Comdt 2 FTS then to host a series of 5 "town hall meetings" for all VGS staff.

I don't know anyone who has a warm and fuzzy feeling, but if I'm honest, after 18 months of getting the mushroom treatment from Pippa and his superiors, getting binned may actually come as a relief to a bunch of guys and girls who are tired of being fed around and who are ready to get on with their lives.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 19:58
  #634 (permalink)  
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Yes, that's what I heard as well. Saturday 7 Nov 15 is the briefing day for 'the rest'. I feel for the OC's if they have to keep schtum from the rest of their team for a week or so.

I hope that sense prevails and that the VGS goes on and returns to its roots. The motorglider use for me always seemed a bit between the two efforts (AEF and conventional gliding). I am hearing on the jungle drums that some 'core sites' will be favoured over others, but I hope that the majority of the sites are preserved - local sites are good, and I think the sole use of Dundee for Flying Scholarships demonstrates the error of that particular course of action over having flying opportunities for Cadets in th local area.

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Old 13th Oct 2015, 20:00
  #635 (permalink)  
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Agreed. If the opportunity is still there, back to basics.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 20:17
  #636 (permalink)  
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I couldn't agree more LJ. The MGs are OK, but pure gliding is better value.
I’ve always felt that air sports can be very valuable in promoting the social, intellectual and physical development of teenagers, and with gliding in particular we have an activity which offers both physical and mental exercise, instils pride in solo achievement, and yet is only made possible with teamwork. Soaring flight requires the practical application of lessons learned in maths, physics and geography, while even relatively mundane airfield tasks such as keeping the log can teach young people another very important life skill - learning to take responsibility.
To become a good pilot requires discipline and self-discipline, while a good day’s gliding combines all the elements of a great day out - fun, excitement, exercise and adventure in the fresh air. Just what you want for a teenager. How, or why, have the ATC lost sight of this?

Last edited by DaveUnwin; 13th Oct 2015 at 20:18. Reason: Poor punctuation!
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 20:20
  #637 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Behind you...
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I grew up with the Viking and switched onto the Viligant. As a training tool, the Viking is far more useful as the cadets are kept busy all day helping to launch and recover aircraft.

From a purely selfish point of view, as a borderline old git, there's a lot to be said for not spending your winter weekends ankle-deep in mud and being able to turn on the cabin heat.

The problem with winch-launching is that the hierarchy is very wary of conjoint ops with powered aircraft, so finding suitable sites is a big problem.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 21:24
  #638 (permalink)  
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I wonder why "the hierarchy is very wary of conjoint ops with powered aircraft"?
Many civi gliding clubs cheerfully run winch, aerotow and MG operations side-by-side all day long, and also accept visiting powered aeroplanes, helicopters and microlights (with PPR and a decent brief).
After all, its not rocket surgery is it?
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 22:43
  #639 (permalink)  
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I wholeheartedly agree with those who think that gliders should not have engines, but on some sites the motor glider is the only option to get cadets into the sky.

I the motor glider fleet is going to have change the engine as the one they have is now unsupported, the Rotax 912 re-engine is the only game in town and the best place to go but remember that this will need to be just part of the upgrade, 8.33 comms and FLARM will also need to be part of the package.

As for talk of cracks in the wings........ I think this is just rubbish spouted by the poorly informed.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 22:47
  #640 (permalink)  
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Part Task Trainers

So why would OIC Air Cadets be saying all VGS getting P T Trainers in the summer issue of Air Cadet !

It seems that an organisation that has had two brand new fleets of relatively simple machines that have been kept under secure cover, have not been able to
maintain a system that was adequate to satisfy their own requirements.

Get the chisels out chaps and build some new Mk 111's and a winch that just required a staff cadet and some fuel. The ATC can then get back to what they were good at; getting Cadets airborne, giving them 3 solo's, and remembering the motto VENTURE ADVENTURE. It would be acceptable to 'upgrade' from wellies. PP
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