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Grob Tutor(No 16 Squadron) Cranwell

Andy Jordan

Chessington, United Kingdom

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A grob Tutor belonging to No 16 Squadron coming in to land at RAF Abingdon on it’s air day…..

he Grob G 115 is an advanced general aviation fixed-wing aircraft, primarily used for flight training. It is built in Germany by Grob Aircraft (Grob Aerospace before January 2009).The E variant with a 3-blade variable pitch propeller is in Royal Air Force service as an elementary flying trainer.

The aircraft is constructed of carbon composite materials. The main fuselage and each wing spar is a single piece. It has a fixed Tricycle undercarriage with spatted wheels, a short nose bearing the 180 hp engine and a 3-bladed variable-pitch propeller. The cockpit features a broad canopy arch with good forward visibility and with side-by-side seating for pilot and student. The wings are tapered with square tips and the empennage consists of a large fin and rudder with an oblong tailplane with square tips mid-set to the fuselage.

The aircraft is capable of basic aerobatic manoeuvres (limited to +6G and -3G).
[edit] Grob Tutor

With the retirement of the Scottish Aviation Bulldog T.1 from Royal Air Force University Air Squadrons (UASs) and Air Experience Flights (AEFs), a new system was put in place for the provision of the UAS and AEF flying tasks. Aircraft were to be owned and operated by private industry, contracted to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The aircraft chosen for this task was the Grob 115, designated Tutor T1 by the MoD. The Tutor fleet is owned and maintained by a civilian company, Babcock, and carry British civilian registrations under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme, painted overall white with blue flashes and RAF roundels.

RAF Elementary Flying Training (EFT) is taught on the Grob Tutor at RAF Cranwell, Wyton and Church Fenton by reserve squadrons teaching the EFT syllabus to direct entrants and former UAS students, with students streamed according to ability: Fast Jet, Rotary Wing, Multi-Engine or non-pilot roles.

Until 2005 the Tutor was used by UASs to provide EFT to university students, many sponsored by the RAF. From 2006, UAS students are no longer taught EFT, they follow an unassessed flying syllabus similar to EFT, but with only a 36 hour course and the possibility of progression to more advanced training on merit. The Tutor is also used by AEFs to provide flying experience for cadets of the Air Training Corps (ATC) and Combined Cadet Force (CCF), replacing the Bulldog in these roles at the turn of the century. The final AEF to receive the Tutor was 10 AEF based at RAF Woodvale in Merseyside, in 2001. 10 AEF was incidentally also the last AEF to receive the Bulldog in 1996, replacing the Chipmunk.

Five Tutor T1s are also operated by 727 Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm for trainee pilot grading.1

In 2009 some Tutor squadrons began to receive new Enhanced Avionics (EA) Tutors, with an updated and enhanced instrument panel, featuring a Garmin GNS 430W GPS system, digital HSI and digital engine instruments. Other than the cockpit modifications these aircraft are exactly the same as the standard Tutors with the exception of an extra VHF aerial for the new GPS system.

The Defence Elementary Flying Training School at RAF Barkston Heath also operates the Tutor.
[edit] Operators

United Kingdom

Royal Air Force – 117 aircraft
University of Birmingham UAS – DCAE Cosford
Bristol UAS – Colerne Airfield
Cambridge UAS – RAF Wyton
East of Scotland UAS – RAF Leuchars
East Midlands UAS – RAF Cranwell
Glasgow and Strathclyde UAS – Glasgow International Airport
Liverpool UAS – RAF Woodvale
Manchester & Salford UAS – RAF Woodvale
Northumbrian Universities UAS – RAF Leeming
Grob Tutor at RIAT 2010.
Oxford University UAS – RAF Benson
Southampton University Air Squadron – Boscombe Down
University of Wales UAS – St Athan
University of London UAS – RAF Wyton
Yorkshire Universities UAS – RAF Church Fenton
1 Air Experience Flight – St Athan
2 Air Experience Flight – Boscombe Down
3 Air Experience Flight – RAF Colerne
4 Air Experience Flight – Glasgow International Airport
5 Air Experience Flight – RAF Wyton
6 Air Experience Flight – RAF Benson
7 Air Experience Flight]- RAF Cranwell
8 Air Experience Flight – DCAE Cosford
9 Air Experience Flight – RAF Church Fenton
10 Air Experience Flight – RAF Woodvale
11 Air Experience Flight – RAF Leeming
12 Air Experience Flight – RAF Leuchars
16® Squadron – RAF Cranwell
57® Squadron – RAF Wyton
85® Squadron – RAF Church Fenton
115® Squadron – RAF Cranwell
Defence Elementary Flying Training School – RAF Barkston Heath

Royal Navy – 5 aircraft
727 NAS – RNAS Yeovilton

Tayside Aviation – 5 aircraft

Egypt

Egyptian Air Force – 74 aircraft

Australia

Adelaide Flight Training Centre – 9 aircraft
Australian Flying School – 8 aircraft
China Southern West Australian Flying College – 38 aircraft

United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates Air Force – 12 aircraft

Norway

Norwegian Aviation College – 4 aircraft

Belgium

Ostende Aviation college – 3 aircraft
Aeroclub Keiheuvel – 1 aircraft

2
[edit] Specifications (G 115E/EG)

Data from http://www.grob-aircraft.eu/index.php/18.html

General characteristics

Crew: Max two (typically 1 student & 1 instructor)
Length: 7.54 m (24 ft 9 in)
Wingspan: 10.0 m (32 ft 8 in)
Height: 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)
Wing area: 12.2 m² (131.4 ft²)
Empty weight: 690 kg (1,518 lb)
Loaded weight: 55kg (121lbs)
Useful load: 320kg (705lbs)
Max takeoff weight: 990 kg (2,183 lb)
Powerplant: 1× Lycoming O-360-A1B6 4-cylinder air-cooled piston engine, 139 kW (180 hp)
Max Fuel Capacity: 143 l

Performance

Never exceed speed: 343 km/h (185 knots, 213 mph)
Cruise speed: 230 km/h (124 kn, 143 mph)
Stall speed: 96km/h (52 Kn, 60 mph)
Range: 1,150 km (620 nm, 710 miles)
Service ceiling: 3,050 m (10,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 5.3 m/s (1050 ft/min)
Wing loading: 81.1 kg/m² (16.6 lb/ft²)
Power/mass: 5.5 kg/hp (12.1 lbs/hp)
g limits +6.0/-3.0g

[edit] Incidents and Accidents

In February 2009, two RAF Tutors operating air experience flights from RAF St Athan collided in mid-air. All four occupants were killed, a pilot and a female Air Training Corps cadet in each aircraft. The two cadets killed were cousins Nikkita Marie Walters, 13, and Katie-Jo Davies, 14. Both were members of 1004 (Pontypridd) Squadron Air Training Corps. The pilots were Fg Off Hylton Price from Bridgend and Flt Lt Andrew Marsh from Vale of Glamorgan. Both were members of 1 AEF St Athan34

In June 2009, a Grob Tutor collided in mid-air with a civilian glider. The two people in the Grob Tutor were killed. The glider pilot parachuted and survived.5

In June 2004, a Tutor lost a propeller blade and its canopy in flight. The aircraft was landed unpowered in a field, where damage was also sustained to the undercarriage. Subsequent investigation revealed cracking in the propeller blade roots across the fleet, which was grounded for modifications. No-one was injured in the incident.

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