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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 18th Nov 2015, 21:20
  #1001 (permalink)  
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Self Build

There was a Cadets self build scheme(Gliders) operating during WW2.
Why would anyone think that the very system that failed to keep a modern fleet of gliders 'airworthy' could actually organise the building of something with an engine and then let Cadets fly in them!
The CAS should draft a 'senior' tech consultant into the system with the mandate to resolve this situation NOW before the public at large see what a complete mess the organisation have got themselves into.
I think the 'official' photo of the Syerston 'workshop says it all;it is not a workshop its a showroom.
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Old 19th Nov 2015, 08:46
  #1002 (permalink)  
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Quote.......I think the 'official' photo of the Syerston 'workshop says it all;it is not a workshop its a showroom.

Pobjoy you have hit the nail on the head, I have been in a few composite repair facility's from the one at British airways ( I was an apprentice at the time ), the Diamond factory ( maintenance type training course) and a number of glider workshops and non of them looked like the Syerston palace.

The very nature of composite repair is that the workshop can't retain the immaculate finish that photos show while carrying out serous composite work.

Like you I have to conclude that the contractor did not do a lot of work and I would speculate that there are a few airframes that the contractor has written off that the average gliding club would consider perfectly reparable ( with guidance from the manufacture )
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Old 19th Nov 2015, 10:52
  #1003 (permalink)  
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A&C There has to be a serious failure in the system when no one notices the lack of actual 'work' and why there was a backlog of 'repairs'.
Can you imagine the potential output of those facilities if being competently run.
The average Glider repair company would be aghast at the waste of this facility and this would lead one to question the competence of the entire back up system and its local management oversight having allowed it for so long.
This is why an independent 'force' is needed to sort both the immediate recovery and the ongoing operation.
When it suits they can 'appoint' ambassadors to front up the organisation so why will they not appoint someone to make the system work.
Never did get a reply or confirmation of letter from CAS, CmdtATC,or M Fallon,so perhaps even their post system does not work.Will wait till Sat then post it on here.
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Old 19th Nov 2015, 12:48
  #1004 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Vigilant VGS official video

Does anyone have a copy of the official Vigilant VGS orientation video? I presume there was a Viking equivalent.

I will have a few beers, watch it and cry myself to sleep
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Old 19th Nov 2015, 13:53
  #1005 (permalink)  
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Buy A Vig

Never mind ACW get your name down for one at disposals they will be a great buy,and Limbach will provide an engine.
Mind you it may be a bit like Hawkers and the Hunter; and Grob may buy them back as they know they have a ready market out there.

I see today that Cameron is to have his own a/c (A330 ex tanker Voyager) as the poor chap was the only head of state who turned up at the G20 party without one.
AH but this will save 775.000 per year on 'hiring in' say the bean counters,and will pay for itself in only 13 years.
Apparently they share an office with the ATC bean counters who they consulted on how to save money and be more productive.When the airline industry pundits heard about this their opinion was that it was more likely to double the existing costs! plus we loose a tanker! (no more thread creep; promise)
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Old 20th Nov 2015, 12:48
  #1006 (permalink)  
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Something positive from Coningsby:

Friday Focus

Standing by for incoming .................
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Old 20th Nov 2015, 13:04
  #1007 (permalink)  
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Good for them
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 20:22
  #1008 (permalink)  
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Looks like the kit's being sold off:

You are bidding on Direct from the UK Ministry of Defence a Glider Trailer built by AMF Enterpris
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 06:35
  #1009 (permalink)  
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It looks like one of the old trailers rather than a new one. The MoD regularly sells old, surplus kit so I don't think this signals any deeper intent.
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 08:34
  #1010 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
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It is one of the old ones. Mind you we need the money now as Mr Osborne has now decided to spend 12Bn on F 35's - note the timing of the announcement ! We only need about 0.000000083% of that to sort out the Air Cadet Fleet - wonder of Cammo and Osborne can find some other bad news to bury the spending of cash on Vikings and Vigilants ? Mind you we still couldn't do it as 2 FTS and 22 Group are still suffering from Dysphasia and paralysis.
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 09:09
  #1011 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Glider Trailer!!

It is about time that they got rid of that trailer. The Air Cadets have not used Horsas for many years
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 09:14
  #1012 (permalink)  
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Bending the towing arm to one side on that trailer must have taken a fair but of force. There is no evidence of damage on the trailer body, so the running gear must have been the resisting structure. No wonder the Air Cadets want rid of it.
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 10:12
  #1013 (permalink)  
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Trailer recovery

In the interests of economy and recovery i think it would make an excellent mobile VGS HQ. To be 'whizzed' to a site near you when needed. Nice raised bit to fit an old astrodome in for airfield control,plenty of internal space for bunks,and 25 worth of bits from a caravan scrapyard to provide catering and briefing facilities.Depending on location potential income for B&B/paintball trade to offset cost of flying. Venture Adventure on a budget.Repainted in camo for maximum effect.If they can throw in a couple of 'retired' Vig's we have a Gliding Club.
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 12:30
  #1014 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2014
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Will be interesting to see what SDSR has to say about the Defence Estate as this will have considerable bearing on what happens next. Some of the prime sites, identified by 2 FTS in the original recovery plan as potential regional hubs to bring VGSs back into currency, are vulnerable since what makes them attractive for flying gliders (i.e. quiet airfields) is also what makes them vulnerable for the axe.

Someone here has already suggested that Hullavington is for the chop. It may be hard to justify a business case for Little Ris also, even though 2 FTS are already spending money on a new hangar and new facilities there. Any plan for provision of gliding with regional centres would be dealt a crippling blow as it leaves very little in the Southwest UK. Loss of the Vigilants would see the ACO lose Chivenor, Swansea, St Athan, Little Ris and Abingdon. If both Hullavington and Little Ris go, then West of the M4/M25 interchange, 2 FTS would be pretty much left with two Viking sqns: 622 at Upavon (tiny airfield) and 626 at Predannack (miles from anyone).

I've also heard rumours that Linton is to be closed, which would then logically bring Topcliffe into question also. That's another 3 Vigilant Sqns: 1 (642) at Linton, 2 (635 and 643) at Topcliffe, homeless and no cover for the North of England beyond 631's reach at Woodvale, which has a busy enough circuit already with two UASs.
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 12:59
  #1015 (permalink)  
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Far too much gloom & doom on this thread......... I have no doubt that good news is just over the horizon.
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 13:47
  #1016 (permalink)  
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Current plan is for Linton to close by the end of the decade as basic fast jet flying training moves to Valley under MFTS - announced this time last year.

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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 13:53
  #1017 (permalink)  
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By the way, this was my prediction on the SDSR Rumour thread:

Seeing as the Air Cadet Gliding Organisations are in 'rag order' then I suggest the following might play out. The loss of the Vigilant due to cost of rectification and upgraded engine requirements, which leads to a loss of VGS (and closure of airfields) at:

Abingdon Airfield, Dalton Barracks (this would be the last public funded flying so could see the airfield close)
Arbroath Airfield, RMB Condor (this would be the last public funded flying so could see the airfield close)
Chivenor Airfield, RMB Chivenor (ties in with the loss of SAR so airfield will shut)
RAF Cosford (airfield stays open as UAS/AEF continues)
RAF Halton (airfield stays open as JSAT(G) and Recruit AEF continues)
RAF Henlow (this would be the last public funded flying so could see the airfield close)
RAF Honington (this would be the last public funded flying so could see the airfield close)
Kinloss Airfield, Kinloss Barracks (remains open as crash div for Lossiemouth)
RAF Linton on Ouse (already due for closure under MFTS)
RAF Little Rissington (this would be the last public funded flying so could see the airfield close)
Newtonards Airfield (Vigilants will go from civvy airfield)
RAF Odiham (airfield stays open for JHC activity)
RAF St Athan (recently announced closure as RAF Cosford becomes the centre of RAF tech trg)
Swansea Airport (Vigilants will go from civvy airport)
RAF Topcliffe, Allanbrooke Barracks (this would be the last public funded flying so could see the airfield close)
RAF Tern Hill (airfield stays open for DHFS activities)
RAF Woodvale (airfield stays open for UAS/AEF)

However, RAF Kenley, MDP Wethersfield, RNAS Predannack and RAF Kirknewton currently operate the Viking and are outwith any day to day full-time support from the military. So this could see the Viking introduced at RAF Cosford, RAF Halton, Kinloss, RAF Odiham, RAF Woodvale, RAF Topcliffe and RAF Tern Hill where DIO currently has to support an airfield with other on-going public funded flying.

So savings made through the closure of airfields at:
Abingdon, Arbroath (RMB Condor), RMB Chivenor, RAF Henlow, RAF Honington, RAF Little Rissington, RAF Kenley, RAF Topcliffe, MDP Wethersfield and RAF Kirknewton. The sale of this land could see a nice return of revenue to the Treasury. The sale of St Athan and RAF Linton on Ouse has already been announced.

Future Air Cadet gliding could be available at:

RAF Cosford
RAF Halton
Hullavington Airfield, Buckley Barracks
Kinloss Airfield, Kinloss Barracks
RAF Odiham
RNAS Predannack or RMB Chivenor (TBD)
RAF Syerston (HQ 2FTS)
RAF Tern Hill
Upavon Airfield, Trenchard Lines
RAF Woodvale

With the possibility of opening up Air Cadet gliding on the following sites:

RAF Leuchars (Waterloo Barracks - currently Lossie weather div and home of UAS/AEF and fills loss of Kirknewton)
RAF Leeming (capacity for weekend gliding and fills loss of Linton and Topcliffe)
RAF St Athan - keep an enclave for South Wales for VGS/UAS/AEF

So that's 13 locations delivering gliding with ~80 Vikings. So approximately 4 per VGS and always around 15-20 in servicing.

Then, with MFTS coming on line, then the excess Tutors could go to the AEFs to offer extra flying to the increased numbers of the Air Cadets.

Right, that's the Air Cadets sorted out...

...now for the rest.

I'm hearing rumours on a need to re-open the WSO pipeline and an increase in WSOps plus more pilots (FJ and ME with the possibility of crossing over some RW pilots) and that means the following is most likely coming:

- More Reapers under Project SCAVENGER
- Run on of the Tornado GR4 awaiting delivery of some more Typhoons
- A maritime patrol aircraft (P8 or other)
- MFTS expansion to deliver increased manpower (with more QFIs needed)
- Increase in techies going through RAF Cosford (which is why DCTT Lyneham has ceased)

I think we will see the reduction of Field Sqns in the RAF Regt. I would hope we see Admin branches (Scribbly, Trg and PEd) thinned dwon into FTRS and Civil Service posts.
I was wrong about Hullavington by the looks of it but let's see if I'm right this coming week...
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 13:56
  #1018 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Mechta View Post
Going to an aluminium tube and fabric three-axis microlight instead of a the composite construction of the current fleet, would certainly make inspections easier. This current debacle would probably have been sorted out months ago if the airframes had almost no composite parts.

In 1985, three-axis microlights were only just getting to grips with 'Section S' and very, very few had four stroke engines, so it would have been inappropriate to use them for Air Cadet flying. These days things are very different, and a proven design which could be assembled by cadets under the supervision of experienced engineers, as happens in the LAA's School 'Build a Plane' Project could result in cadets with a far better understanding of the aircraft in which they fly. An aluminium tube and fabric airframe would also be easier to adapt to an airframe parachute, which is appropriate both for the way the aircraft is used and who is being carried.

Even allowing for all the contractors, its probably fair to say that there are still more engineers & technicians than pilots in the RAF. At present the Air Cadets seem to focus solely on the flying and not the skills required to keep their aircraft airworthy.
3 axis micros were used to fly ATC cadets in Herts & Bucks Wing in the 90s - see my earlier posts. The short lived Microlight Flying Scholarship scheme used aircraft with 2 -stroke engines (Konig as HQAC - not CFS) took a dislike to the Rotax engines, and was evaluated by CFS prior to it commencing.

Last edited by chevvron; 22nd Nov 2015 at 17:37.
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 15:40
  #1019 (permalink)  
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Prediction Credibility

LJ The Pred rather lost the cred factor very quickly with me when i saw your 'appraisal' of RAF Kenley.
No land sale value as it is owned by the City of London as a common and would revert to that if the MOD had no further use.
Not only that but of 'all' the Squadrons Kenley is actually best placed for a very high concentration of Cadets and is served by an excellent Road and Rail system.
It has been devoid of 'on site' facilities since 1959 and thrived ever since.
Thats before we mention it is the best preserved 11 Group Battle of Britain airfield left and any attempt to sever this precious connection with our heritage would be met by an even more vigorous campaign than that seen on this thread.

As it happens Kenley is a real survivor so is not going to be concerned about the LJ factor.It was built on a common for the great war (Aircraft Park),and kept on under the defence of the realm act;upgraded for WW2 and survived the famous low level raid on the 18th Aug 1940 to provide an ongoing offensive base for 'wing' operations. 615 VGS proudly carries on the County of Surrey number and itself survived the loss of its Belfast shed (1978)(with all its equipment) and a hangar snow collapse later with the glass fleet.ANY FURTHER ATTEMPT TO CLOSE IT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Nothing personal LJ but dont even think about it.
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 18:27
  #1020 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
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LJ, Halton too short AC winch Ops.
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