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Primary flying training duration

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Primary flying training duration

Old 30th Jun 2020, 18:57
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Busta View Post
My instructor was Msr Etherayes!
An interesting start to your flying career, I expect?
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 21:24
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks! Was it really 3 years spent at Cranditz as a Flt Cdt?!

I did the 24 weeks in the 90s and that was enough...
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 07:45
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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I did the 24 weeks in the 90s and that was enough...
The 18 weeks I did was more than enough to learn how to make your toecaps shiny and build tripods out of pine poles. Oh, and something called SMEAC.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 08:48
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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The last 'complete' Cranwell cadet entry was 98, and it was two and a half years. April '68 to summer '70.

When 99 entry turned up they were offered a university place or stay at the towers, and a number went took the option of university.

101 was indeed the last of the cadets but a much smaller entry.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 13:49
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Top West 50 View Post
An interesting start to your flying career, I expect?
Yes indeed, there followed 18 years of explosive fun!

Nothing matters very much, most things don't matter at all
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 08:55
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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I was on 99; after about a day they told us that the RAF wanted as many of us as possible to go to University. Some left almost immediately, but the rest of us did a whole year as Junior Entry, because 100 didn't arrive until autumn 1969.

We were commissioned a short while after the 'bitter and twisted' 97 entry became Senior Entry. I gather a few scores were settled before we left for 3-4 years....

The old 2 1/2 year Flt Cdt course was actually extremely good. But had I stayed on it, I would have graduated before the fast jet expansion began - and I doubt very much whether I'd have been good enough to fly the Gnat at Valley.
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 09:22
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
I was on 99; after about a day they told us that the RAF wanted as many of us as possible to go to University. Some left almost immediately, but the rest of us did a whole year as Junior Entry, because 100 didn't arrive until autumn 1969.

We were commissioned a short while after the 'bitter and twisted' 97 entry became Senior Entry. I gather a few scores were settled before we left for 3-4 years....

The old 2 1/2 year Flt Cdt course was actually extremely good. But had I stayed on it, I would have graduated before the fast jet expansion began - and I doubt very much whether I'd have been good enough to fly the Gnat at Valley.
A story, methinks?

CG
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 09:34
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sky Sports View Post
Can anyone help with this?
Just gone through some notes I have.
Grading - Grob Tutor - 14 hours - 1 month - no solo
EFT - Grob Tutor - 66 hours - 7 months - solo at 11 hours
BFJT - Tucano - 121 hours - 9 months - solo at 8 hours
AFJT - Hawk T2 - 120 hours - 18 months - solo at 20 hours
OCU - "A FAST JET" - no data - no data - solo at 0 hours live , a few hours hours SIM ;-)

Obviously these days there is a greater emphasis on simulated training. It amazes me that the first F-35 / Typhoon flight is a solo flight. You learn to drive a Ford Fiesta, then move on to a Mondeo to an Aston Martin. They then put you in a Racing Sim / game for a few hours before letting you loose in an F1 racing car. Hope that helps.

But that train of thought pales to insignificance when you take the Nutty post on board:

To put it in context, a new name has been added to the list of those entitled to wear the Battle of Britain clasp, sadly posthumously.
  • Sergeant James Eric William Ballard has joined the ranks of Churchill's 'The Few'
  • Had nine hours of flying time before joining 610 (County of Chester) Squadron
  • Follows discovery of logbook, which shows an operational sortie flown in 1940

At around 2/3rds through grading, Sgt Ballard went to war. Respect.



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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 11:58
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SATCOS WHIPPING BOY View Post
At around 2/3rds through grading, Sgt Ballard went to war. Respect.

212man has already posted "I assume that was nine hours on the Spitfire - obviously wasn’t total" and I have to agree with that. I really don't believe that Sgt Ballard only had 9 hours total flying time. No doubt the information sourced from the logbook has been misunderstood when putting this story to print. But then the Daily Mail is not renowned for accuracy in journalism. Even the Daily Mail article headline is poorly constructed:
"Spitfire pilot is added to ranks of The Few nearly 80 years after the Battle of Britain when he fought Luftwaffe with only NINE hours' flying time before he was killed in action aged 23 in 1941"
Eh? This 'sentence' manages to imply that Sgt Ballard had 9 hours flying when he made his operational sortie in the Battle of Britain, on 8th October 1940, as well as still only having 9 hours flying when he was lost in action in 1941!

And whilst "... the discovery of the pilot's logbook, which shows he had flown an operational sortie on October 8, 1940" is pertinent, there is no evidence given in the article that during the qualifying sortie (for status as one of The Few) Sgt Ballard actually "... fought the Luftwaffe ..." as implied in the headline. Not that failing to locate and engage with the Luftwaffe should disqualify Sgt Ballard from being considered as one of The Few, he's earned title, but the 8th October 1940 sortie could easily have been a patrol that didn't encounter any enemy aircraft. The Daily Mail is clearly staffed with journalists who struggle to string coherent headlines together. The appalling syntax and absence of punctuation is stark!

The RAF's flying training system in the build up to, and during, WW2, was far more sophisticated and knowledgable than just sending pilots into combat with barely enough hours to go solo on any aircraft, never mind operate them as weapons platforms. Nine flying hours on Spitfires is the much more likely scenario. I am left worndering if Sgt Ballard, being RAFVR (see further below), had more than one logbook - a relatively small, slim volume recording his flying training, and a second, operational RAF unit logbook issued to him when he joined 610 Sqn.

So, to reiterate, Sgt Ballard would not have been flying Spitfires, operationally or otherwise, with only 9 hours total flying time. Forgive me for straying somewhat from the thread's purpose, but much of that Daily Mail article is just hoop!


PS: The National Archives at Kew has a record that Sgt J E W Ballard went missing, believed killed, on 27th August 1941, having been shot down in aerial combat over northern France. On that date he was flying a Spitfire, serial W3503, of 610 Squadron.

Other sources give Sgt Ballard's service number as 745731, and that he was a member of the RAFVR. W3503 was a Spitfire Mk Vb, and also carried unit code DQ-Q.


Last edited by Stuart Sutcliffe; 2nd Jul 2020 at 12:41.
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 16:05
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Pilot Officer Billy Fiske joined 601 Sqn in July 1940; his first flight with 601 is logged as "Type solo" which suggests that he had not flown a Hurricane (or any other front-line type) before. https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/images/...uly-1940LG.jpg His first patrol was flown six days later, by which time he had some 10 hours on Hurricanes.
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 17:08
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Innominate View Post
Pilot Officer Billy Fiske joined 601 Sqn in July 1940; his first flight with 601 is logged as "Type solo" which suggests that he had not flown a Hurricane (or any other front-line type) before. https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/images/...uly-1940LG.jpg His first patrol was flown six days later, by which time he had some 10 hours on Hurricanes.
Realistically such short time to flying in war is silly.

A more realistic figure would be 150-200 hours. Can't quite read the total hours at the bottom of that image but could be 155 or 185. That would be back end of current * BFJT.

* current based on Tucano streaming. No idea how hours change with the use of Texan. Don't expect up to that stage to be much different but may be quicker through the Hawk courses.
.
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 18:17
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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"When 99 entry turned up they were offered a university place "
No we weren't.
The criteria were that we were " willing and able" to apply.
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 18:34
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
I was on 99; after about a day they told us that the RAF wanted as many of us as possible to go to University. Some left almost immediately, but the rest of us did a whole year as Junior Entry, because 100 didn't arrive until autumn 1969.

We were commissioned a short while after the 'bitter and twisted' 97 entry became Senior Entry. I gather a few scores were settled before we left for 3-4 years.....
So how did it work BEagle? Were you commissioned more or less straight away on university cadet terms as APOs on the university cadet salary and did you eventually return to the Towers on a graduate entry course?
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 19:11
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Ah... 255(1)A Course. 15 Dec 69 to 27 Feb 70. 30.05 hrs. (Must have needed an extra 5 mins to get it right).
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 09:03
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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From Proudlion

By 1978 the DE BFT/AFT/TWU pilot training system I went through was as follows: April to Aug '78 IOT RAF Henlow; Sept '78 1FTS Linton, 4 weeks GS, 134 hrs JP3A till July '79, then 64 hrs JP5A til Sep '79; 4FTS Valley Oct '79 to May '80 with 98 hrs Hawk T1; 1 TWU at Brawdy from May to Sep '80 with 71 hrs Hawk T1, then to Phantom OCU in Nov '80. So, total of about 20 months and 367 hrs jet time (including lots of non-course gash trips) from start of IOT to hitting the OCU.


An impressively slick record and proof that the system did, once, work as advertised even if it was only on two basic types: JP and Hawk.
However! April 78 to November 80 is a trifle more than 20 months, whence you were still at Valley. Perhaps you meant 30? There was certainly a greater variety before that era, even if it did take a few months longer.
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 13:25
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Signed on 4th April 1960 in Salisbury, now Harare. Supposed to start at South Cerney on 9th April but delayed in Nairobi so arrived on the 15th; Good Friday. Given a railway warrant to London and told to come back on Tuesday. Hit by a bat whilst playing softball so went to hospital for a week or so and then eventually commissioned on 30th September.

Two weeks leave then Tern Hill and two weeks groundschool and I started flying the Provost T1 on 28th October. On 27th June 1961 with 129 hrs total, of which 54.15 were solo I left Tern Hill for Oakington. There were only two of us going to Oakington because the whole course was supposed to go to Valley to do the Varsity AFS. We two threw our toys out of our prams and were changed to Oakington on the jet AFS. The others were gloating because they had six weeks leave before going to Valley where we only had one.

Started flying Vampires on the 19th July I got my wings on the 23rd March 1962, just over 23 months and 246.10 hrs from arriving at South Cerney Whilst I was at Oakington the Varsity AFS had moved from Valley to Oakington so my gloating Provost course were behind me on the supporting flight for my Wings Parade.

Three weeks later I was at Gaydon. Six weeks ground school and then seven flights totalling 27.45 hrs. and I was a qualified Valiant co-pilot on the 21st June.

Two weeks later I was on the Flight Refuelling course at Marham and I stared flying on 90 Sqn. at Honington on 18th July 1962.

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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 14:00
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Joined Apr 63. South Cerney Apr - Jul 63. FTS Acklington JP Aug 63 - Aug 64 (104 dual and 62 solo). Held CAW Manby/Strubby Varsities Sep - Nov 64 (30 hrs). AFS Meteors Manby/Strubby Nov 64 - Apr 65 (45 dual 28 solo). Held 85 Sqn Meteors, Binbrook May 65 -Jul 65 (50hrs) 229 OCU Chivenor Hunter Aug 65 - Nov 65 (65 dual 49 solo) 226 OCU Coltishall Lightning Nov 65 - Apr 66. (64 dual 21 solo). Arrived on Squadron with 460 total 206 solo and almost exactly 3 years from start.
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 17:38
  #38 (permalink)  

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Joined 7.12.64. Commissioned 1.4.65. Held for 2 months at Waddington. JP course at Syerston; wings 13.5.66. Tern Hill, Sioux and Whirlwind. First flight on my first squadron 15.11.66. Two years four days and 273:30 in the logbook.
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 18:11
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CharlieJuliet. You lucky barsteward. I joined three years too early.
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Old 3rd Jul 2020, 18:31
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Originally Posted by Sky Sports View Post
How does that compare with now. How many hours can you expect on EFT, BFJT, AFJT and type conversion to Typhoon or Lightning?
Can anyone provide some current info on this? For Multis as well?

I suspect it's pretty shocking...
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