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Best basic trainer?

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Best basic trainer?

Old 27th Apr 2020, 20:16
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Best basic trainer?

Alright, calling out all the old, nostalgic farts on this one. As a civilian driver who always dreamed of becoming a military one, which one is in your opinion the best basic trainer and why?

PS: "because it looks good" doesn't count.
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 20:24
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What is youir criteria for 'best?' There are a lot of factors. For example, does one need to be able to do instrument flying in one?
The T-34B was a nice initial trainer for many years.
The nose heavy T-34C was one that also allowed for some instrument training, but was a touch more expensive to operate.
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 20:44
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I would say best all around, everything considered. I did not set any criteria to let people debate and discuss about all aspects.
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 20:46
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Beech sport 180.
It is docile when handled appropriately, and will behave like a bitch if you abuse it. It, and its iterations are the only primary trainers that will proceed to a real, fully developed spin if you stall and donít behave somewhat appropriately.
They will recover within a couple of turns once there with appropriate inputs regardless of how deep you are.
Certified in the utility category with two occupants and half tanks.

Saved my ass on my first idiotic pseudoaerobatic excursion on a solo cross country 30 years ago.
and on a couple of occasions since with idiots who tried to kill us both😎
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 22:07
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Jet Provost T Mk 5A without the shadow of a doubt!
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 22:18
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Not much wrong with the Mk 4 either Beags. Bit short of nav kit, no pressurisation, but went really well!

mcdhu
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Old 27th Apr 2020, 22:36
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I agree with Beags but given I flew the JP 5A as a student and then again later instructing and then again again instructing instructing I may be biased...

Side by side seating - great for watching Blogg's head/eyes through a Stall turn.. No nasty vices for the basic stuff..Straight and Level One, Straight and Level Two, Straight and Level ..I'm bored now but it would dependably do all the Power+attitude+Trim stuff until the cows came home.

Then move forward umpteen hours on the course and the same aircraft could blast around at low level at (?) 240 IAS with enough fuel to do so for a decent low level navex but also not quite enough to mean Bloggs could ignore the fuel gauges.

Good (by 60's/70's ergonomic slum standards) instrument fit, including raw ILS.

A good spinner - no vices with incipient spinning - for full spinning- usually no probs if you played it straight with a basic Bloggs (though I did see one high rotational..it did , as per the pilot's notes straighten out OK eventually ) ..OTOH it could deliberately be made into a very entertaining spinner ( as in oscillatory - "that thump you hear is your helmet hitting the canopy" ) if you wanted it to be so for the benefit of the big boys/fast jet customers we used to spin for famil purpose at CFS.

I thought it was a really good solid fundamentally honest basic jet training platform...

If you want some gripes..Not great in icing (icing let-downs ring a bell?) - a bit of an issue in the UK winter but then again what basic trainer is ? The mighty JP3 was a better aeros machine at low altitude - lighter aileron forces and the tip tanks gave a better reference in the vertical...and the land away personal kit stowage - a tin container about the size of two shoe boxes) was dire...

Last edited by wiggy; 27th Apr 2020 at 22:56.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 02:15
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I'm with the thread starter, colour blind so never even had a chance to apply & get rejected ... but was inverted spinning on the menu for military basic training?
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 02:19
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was inverted spinning on the menu for military basic training?
umm.....no. Inverted spins were an uncommon byproduct of a normal spin entry, and were to be recovered from as ASAP as possible, so to speak. Sometimes the recovery was via the Martin Baker Departure Lounge.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 06:26
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I was instructing on Vampires when the changeover from Piston Provost to JP3 was happening.We noticed an immediate drop in skills. When we went to fly the JP we realised why, it was too easy to fly. Basic trainers need to be sufficiently challenging to identify those with inadequate skills, or they just fail more expensively further up the line.
i met the same problem when instructing-on helicopters on the change over from Sioux/Whirlwind to all through Whirlwind, particularly when the requirement to do all exercises with manual throttle was eliminated. Nobody failed! They just failed at the OCU stage on Wessex or Puma.
I think that was what made the Tiger Moth a good trainer. It was (and is) not the easiest aircraft to fly well. I’ve flown those as well. It’s successor the Chipmunk was an excellent grading trainer for sorting out the wheat from the chaff.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 06:58
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the JP we realised why, it was too easy to fly. [/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]

Yes, the JP3/4 were too easy. Another problem was the course construction; in the mid 60s the demanding instrument flying was placed towards the end of the syllabus and produced the majority of student failures. So, they were expensive failures. Both were fixed, after my time as a JP QFI, by introducing the JP3A/4A with a slightly improved instrument fit that included ILS, so increasing the workload on the student pilot, and bringing forward the IF to an earlier stage of the course.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 07:26
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I am with rotorfossil. I trained on the Provost T1 and when I went to Advanced on Vampires the rest of the course was ex JPs/UAS types. As time went by I was the first to solo and when we reached the instrument stage I got a White Card against an Intermediate Instrument Rating.

What rororfossil missed out on was the Bristol Sycamore. That was undoubtedly the best trainer of all time.

If you could fly a Sycamore you could fly ANYTHING!
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 07:41
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As has been said already, it depends what you mean by "best". Ab initio surely it must be the Tiger Moth. I was lucky enough to have that good fortune. Not difficult to learn on, but you needed to fly it, a skill that is, it is said, getting rarer today. I recall my old friend Tony (Blenheims and Baltimores in WW2, later B-24s with the RAAF) saying that he, like me, started on Tiger Moths and that was one reason he survived. In the meantime he instructed on Cornells and says that they were too easy and led to fatalities. You can't compare a Tiger Moth with a JP, of course.
If I'm allowed a second choice, then I'd say Chipmunk. My favourite aeroplane, but next to the Tiger as a trainer.
Sorry, just saw rotorfossil's post no 10. I agree with you!

Laurence
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 08:00
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I was on a UAS when the switch from Chipmunks to Bulldogs started. I was lucky enough to start the course on the Chipmunk and finish off on the Bulldog. The latter was undoubtably easier to fly and returned better (on paper) results. Whether the pilot was better was never really established. I think that the Chipmunk was certainly a better aircraft for learning the basics of flying though.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 08:14
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
umm.....no. Inverted spins were an uncommon byproduct of a normal spin entry, and were to be recovered from as ASAP as possible, so to speak. Sometimes the recovery was via the Martin Baker Departure Lounge.

From my training days in the sixties, you treated an inverted spin as you would a normal one, that is the turn needle still worked the right way. That's all I can remember about it, never trained for it and never heard of anyone getting into one until my old chum Jim Alexander got into one in a Pitts and left it in a quarry in the Midlands somewhere and walked home with his parachute under his arm and went to work.
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 08:42
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I would agree that the JP was a good trainer, but then all my 'learning' and instructing was on the JP. So with nothing to really compare it with, my opinion is not really worth much. All I would add is to remind some of us of the shear joy of a 07.30 solo weather trip on a frosty clear morning, bliss.

I too did some spinning the big boys when I worked for CFS, and found that it was fairly easy (but prohibited!) to flick it into a spin. Confided to my mate what i had done, and then on the next sortie sat 4 or 5 hundred yards away whilst he tried it in his jet. After watching what happened to the aeroplane I never did it again!

As for the lack of luggage space. I well remember landaways with the lounge suit on a coat hanger, hanging on the outside of the seat. I wonder what would have happened it we had to jump out? The only occasion I crossed the Channel in a JP, I came home with the litre of Southern Comfort in that little 'pocket', the one where you placed the pitot cover, and thinking if I have to eject I would have to leave it there. The innocence of youth. But it was all nearly 50 years ago........
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 09:13
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Originally Posted by rotorfossil View Post
I think that was what made the Tiger Moth a good trainer. It was (and is) not the easiest aircraft to fly well. Iíve flown those as well. Itís successor the Chipmunk was an excellent grading trainer for sorting out the wheat from the chaff.
Just what was the successions of ab intio trainers in the RAF? Tiger Moth, Chipmunk, Piston Provost, Jet Provost, Bulldog, Tutor, Prefect?

Can anyone add the years when transition from one to another was more or less completed? E.g. I believe Tutors replaced Bulldogs in 2001.


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Old 28th Apr 2020, 09:23
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medod,

You are mixing up ab initio with basic.

On the ab initio, or primary as the RAF called it, later elementary, the Tiger Moth was replaced by the Percival Prentice with the Chipmunk only going to the reserve schools and UAS's. The reserve schools were phased out in 1953 and a large number of Chipmunks were declared surplus. When the Provost T1 came along, (the Piston Provost) it carried out primary AND basic until the advent of the Jet Provost T3, which did the same. At various stages of the RAF flying training system they have introduced, withdrawn, re introduced, withdrawn and reintroduced an ab initio, or primary, stage on the Chipmunk when it became too expensive to discover that someone was unsuitable half way through the Jet Provost stage. Re introducing a primary stage on a simple piston type solved this.
The Bulldog replaced the Chipmunk in the UAS's in 1973/4 but I don't think was ever used by the RAF as a genuine primary trainer, apart from the period when the UAS's were used as the elementary stage. The RAF did use it in the RNEFTS to train potential RN helicopter pilots. Complicated this training business isn't it.

Then the Tutor replaced the Bulldog as a genuine elementary trainer and as a UAS/AEF platform, which it still is but this has again been complicated by the introduction of the Prefect which appears to be used as an elementary trainer as well as the Tutor...
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 09:58
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Thank you.

Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
At various stages of the RAF flying training system they have introduced, withdrawn, re introduced, withdrawn and reintroduced an ab initio, or primary, stage on the Chipmunk when it became too expensive to discover that someone was unsuitable half way through the Jet Provost stage. Re introducing a primary stage on a simple piston type solved this.

The Bulldog replaced the Chipmunk in the UAS's in 1973/4 but I don't think was ever used by the RAF as a genuine primary trainer, apart from the period when the UAS's were used as the elementary stage. The RAF did use it in the RNEFTS to train potential RN helicopter pilots. Complicated this training business isn't it.

Then the Tutor replaced the Bulldog as a genuine elementary trainer and as a UAS/AEF platform, which it still is but this has again been complicated by the introduction of the Prefect which appears to be used as an elementary trainer as well as the Tutor...
Complicated indeed ó but quite fascinating as the decision-makers mustíve thought they were doing the right thing each time they changed approach.

Did the first trainer a new non-UAS entrant flew stick with being with the Chipmunk while the JP was around, once introduced, or did that actually come and go?
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Old 28th Apr 2020, 10:05
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Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
I agree with Beags but given I flew the JP 5A as a student and then again later instructing and then again again instructing instructing I may be biased...

Side by side seating - great for watching Blogg's head/eyes through a Stall turn.. No nasty vices for the basic stuff..Straight and Level One, Straight and Level Two, Straight and Level ..I'm bored now but it would dependably do all the Power+attitude+Trim stuff until the cows came home.

Then move forward umpteen hours on the course and the same aircraft could blast around at low level at (?) 240 IAS with enough fuel to do so for a decent low level navex but also not quite enough to mean Bloggs could ignore the fuel gauges.

Good (by 60's/70's ergonomic slum standards) instrument fit, including raw ILS.

A good spinner - no vices with incipient spinning - for full spinning- usually no probs if you played it straight with a basic Bloggs (though I did see one high rotational..it did , as per the pilot's notes straighten out OK eventually ) ..OTOH it could deliberately be made into a very entertaining spinner ( as in oscillatory - "that thump you hear is your helmet hitting the canopy" ) if you wanted it to be so for the benefit of the big boys/fast jet customers we used to spin for famil purpose at CFS.

I thought it was a really good solid fundamentally honest basic jet training platform...

If you want some gripes..Not great in icing (icing let-downs ring a bell?) - a bit of an issue in the UK winter but then again what basic trainer is ? The mighty JP3 was a better aeros machine at low altitude - lighter aileron forces and the tip tanks gave a better reference in the vertical...and the land away personal kit stowage - a tin container about the size of two shoe boxes) was dire...
Agree with all of that. I'm from a similar background, but also had the chance, on exchange to fly both piston and jet tandem seating basic trainers. Sitting next to the student has real advantages, but can be off-putting for them.

I don't subscribe to the theory that a basic trainer has to be challenging to weed out the incompetents. The syllabus and goals have to be challenging.
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