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RAF to retire Tucano

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RAF to retire Tucano

Old 12th Sep 2019, 00:08
  #61 (permalink)  
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As would the JP5A and the Hawk T1 .....
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Old 12th Sep 2019, 09:59
  #62 (permalink)  
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Some perspective of Tucano from the Shorts end of the Telescope. The idea was indeed to offer a cheap and cheerful aircraft for the competitive pitch being run by MoD. By offering a proven off-the-peg solution, many of the pitfalls of previous procurements could be avoided, which was attractive to the customer in terms of likely delivery and service reliability, as well as lower acquisition cost, whilst also being attractive to Shorts for similar reasons. The sense at the time was that although none of the candidates was completely perfect, Tucano was a strong contender. Throw in the fact that Shorts was government owned, and employment in the then troubled Belfast was in short supply, the scene was set. What could possibly go wrong?
The usual things basically. Change the required specification and keep on changing it as the contract progresses. Principal among the changes, and one Shorts consented to in their desperation to secure the contract, was a more powerful engine. Unbolt the old one, bolt a more powerful one in. Simples! And re-engineer some 60% of the airframe as a consequence.......
The contract was a financial disaster for Shorts, and hence for HMG. That the aircraft went on to serve for so long and so well is some consolation.
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Old 12th Sep 2019, 10:52
  #63 (permalink)  
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There is some irony in the replacement being a derivative of the aircraft not selected originally.
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Old 12th Sep 2019, 12:46
  #64 (permalink)  
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I was cursorally involved in assessing the contenders whilst at BAE. We identified the Tucano wasn't anywhere near fast enough and the wing needed to be completely re-designed for the low level flying in the first day. Those modifications would not have been accepted in the bid - it was "as -is" I believe. The quality and performance of the PC-9 was simply streets ahead ( Bob Cole taking off in the length of the threshold markings into a vertical 8 did it for me), We were just as gob-smacked by the final political decision though we were happy sticking with our choice. At the Saudi handover ceremony a 20 ship took off and ceremoniously beat up Scampton who were waiting for their first Tucano.
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Old 12th Sep 2019, 14:03
  #65 (permalink)  
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I was on the first course of students to train on the Tucano. The rest of the station were on JPs & we received a great deal of 'banter' about being a 'slow prop', even from those on the JP3 which to be frank couldn't really share the circuit with the Tucano as it took an age to climb before it could turn downwind. We could clear the MATZ by the end of the runway if we really tried so could fly 2 circuits inside one of theirs. The JP5 was roughly similar in terms of climb performance & were obviously faster than us, even the JP3 could go quite fast downhill with the wind behind it, but both types had very short legs. Guys on the senior courses were always talking about how 'they'd run out of time for MRTs' on a sortie whereas the Tucano could do 2 sorties off a tank of gas. We could also do proper mixed profile sorties so in my opinion it was a better & more flexible training aircraft, helped by fairly decent avionics & the tandem seating. We were accused by our JP peers of 'not being fuel aware' in the way that they were, but as I recall a criticism of Valley's output by the TWUs was that they weren't fuel aware so what ever they'd learnt at BFTS was soon forgotten on the Hawk.

I did think at the time that it was a mistake to make the new aircraft 'Hawk-like' in its cockpit rather than give it a really modern one & upgrade the older aircraft. I had a trip in a Tucano a few years ago & my impression then was of a cramped cockpit with a really old-fashioned layout, but that's probably just in comparison to my usual mount. At the time it seemed spacious & very advanced, at least after the Bulldog. When I refreshed on the Tucano after flying the Hawk it did seem rather slow & I seemed to have loads of time to fill between events, though that could have reflected an improvement in my ability rather than anything to do with the aircraft as the only real difference is how far apart the minute marks are.

It has lasted well though & spent nearly as long in service as its predecessor. I shall be sad to see it go, it was a blast to fly as a student on BFT.
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Old 17th Sep 2019, 14:57
  #66 (permalink)  
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To set the scene, I have @1500 hrs JP, 2700 hrs Tucano. Which one would I take to use as an instructional aircraft, the JP any day? Why?

All JPs flew exactly the same if set up correctly (and at Linton we had an excellent UTP, Dave B, who ensured ever airframe was just right). This meant that all demos of what the aircraft would do when services were operated, power changed etc were identical. Although each Tucano was there or thereabouts, there always were small differences. As a Tucano UTP, I spent many fruitless hours trying to get every aircraft to respond in exactly the same way, some airframes were particularly bad.

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Old 18th Sep 2019, 13:22
  #67 (permalink)  
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Thought I'd share this. Not many more days left to catch them in their natural habitat.

Old 18th Sep 2019, 14:46
  #68 (permalink)  
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Nice picture, just checked my logbook & see that I flew 239 just the once, 1:00hr solo GH on 12 Jul 90, on the FJ lead-in cse. Happy days....
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Old 18th Sep 2019, 17:03
  #69 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Ken Scott View Post
Nice picture, just checked my logbook & see that I flew 239 just the once, 1:00hr solo GH on 12 Jul 90, on the FJ lead-in cse. Happy days....
Thanks Ken
I guess it would still have been red and white back then, before getting the black paint, then the RA F camo paint job (late 2012), and then back to black (2015/16)as we see it above.
Old 18th Sep 2019, 17:32
  #70 (permalink)  
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Yes, red & white & still smelled ‘new’!
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Old 19th Sep 2019, 08:29
  #71 (permalink)  
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As a Nav stude in the late 90s, I loved the Tucano (but then didn't have much to compare it against). However, reading the flipping fuel gauges by your right knee whilst being bounced around by the QPNI wasn't all that easy....
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Old 19th Sep 2019, 15:25
  #72 (permalink)  
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You wouldn't like the Mossie then, the fuel tank selectors for that are behind the pilots seat and changed over by feel only.
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Old 19th Sep 2019, 22:51
  #73 (permalink)  
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And the Blackburn Botha was even worse, by all accounts.
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Old 20th Sep 2019, 01:10
  #74 (permalink)  
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I remember feeling old when they retired the Tornado as I clearly remember the Panavia 200, the Tucano retirement is just making matters worse. Hopefully I will get to see the T-6C retire one day......
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 12:20
  #75 (permalink)  
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Two doing some really good old fashioned dog fighting above my house as I type. If they are the very last students I’m impressed....... but very much doubt it. Will miss the sound, now all I have on a regular basis is 100 Sqn which I had the honour of being their parade WO.

The sun shines over the Yorkshire Wolds........happy days
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 15:42
  #76 (permalink)  
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Wednesday 16th : Tucano formation Valley to Linton via the NW

Wednesday 16 October ; formation transit of 5 Tucanos routing Valley - Woodvale - Warton - Blackpool - Riggs Moor (Menwith Hill ?) - Linton . NOTAM here ;

H6721/19: Formation flying will take place
531500N 0043200W VALLEY AD 1305
533500N 0030400W WOODVALE AD 1320
534400N 0025300W WARTON AD 1325
534600N 0030200W BLACKPOOL AD 1330
541000N 0015700W VCY RIGGS MOOR 1345
540300N 0011900W LINTON-ON-OUSE AD 1355
01347 847511. 2019-10-0292/AS4LOWER: Surface, UPPER: 5,000 Feet AMSL
FROM: 16 Oct 2019 13:05 GMT (14:05 BST) TO: 16 Oct 2019 13:55 GMT (14:55 BST)
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 16:56
  #77 (permalink)  
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Those timings have changed. It's now a 4-ship Linton-Belfast-Valley (lunch)-Woodvale-Warton-Blackpool-Linton

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Old 16th Oct 2019, 17:42
  #78 (permalink)  
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The formation over Belfast City airport , the fifth aircraft was in loose formation probably a camera ship.

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Old 16th Oct 2019, 20:17
  #79 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
At least the Tucano had ejector seats, unlike the Prefect... I gather that the RAF is the only air force which hasn't specified such life saving devices, which were available as an option. Should there ever be a Prefect fatal, I hope whoever made the daft decision will be required to face the relatives of the deceased to explain the decision... .

Anyway, rather than Prefect / Texan, the PC21 should have been acquired.
You are kidding ? T-6 well our ones sans ejector seats. Hmm anyhow with QinetiQ operating the Pilatus PC-21, logic thought that RAF would...(my photo from RIAT 2018)


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Old 16th Oct 2019, 23:52
  #80 (permalink)  
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Tucanos to Cranwell , Thursday 17th

They are out and about on Thursday too routing from Linton to Cranwell and return . NOTAM here ;

H6764/19: Formation flying will take place
540300N 0011500W RAF LINTON 0930
534500N 0001000W WPT 1
533500N 0002100W HUMBERSIDE AIRPORT 0949
531800N 0003300W RAF SCAMPTON 0954
531200N 0002100W WPT 4
530100N 0002900W RAF CRANWELL
531000N 0010100W WPT 6
532900N 0010000W DONCASTER SHEFFIELD 1014
534500N 0004900W WPT 8
535000N 0011200W LEEDS EAST 1125
535600N 0012500W WPT 10
541700N 0013200W RAF LEEMING 1135
540300N 0011500W RAF LINTON 1145
CONTACT 01347 847450. 2019-10-0313/AS4LOWER: Surface, UPPER: 5,000 Feet AMSL
FROM: 17 Oct 2019 09:30 GMT (10:30 BST) TO: 17 Oct 2019 10:45 GMT (11:45 BST)

And some 9-ship practice next week , 23rd to the 25th and then 'The End' .
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