T-6C Texan T1 Makes First Flight in RAF Service

RAF Texan T1 ZM324 prepares to taxi out at RAF Valley on February 21 for the type’s first flight in UK military service. MOD Crown Copyright/Cpl Peter Devine

A FURTHER milestone in the UK Military Flying Training System (MFTS) programme with the first flight of a T-6C Texan T1 in Royal Air Force service.  The sortie was announced yesterday, February 22, by the Ministry of Defence and had taken place the previous day, February 21, at the type’s new base at RAF Valley, Anglesey.  The aircraft undertaking the initial flight was ZM324, which had been one of the first two delivered to Valley on May 15, 2018, as we had reported on Warnsey’s World at the time.

Affinity Flying Training Services Ltd, which has been contracted to manage the programme for the MOD, took delivery of the 38th and final fixed-wing aircraft for MFTS on December 3, 2018, when the last of ten T-6Cs arrived at Valley.  This concluded a three-year procurement programme which also included delivery of 23 Grob G120TP Prefect T1s and five Phenom 100s.  Affinity is a joint venture between Elbit Systems UK and KBR.

The new MFTS syllabus will see pilots begin flying with the Prefect before moving on to fast jet training on the Texan before completing their training on the Hawk T2.  Student training with the Texan will begin later this year, replacing the Tucano T1 which currently undertakes the role at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire.

The complete Texan fleet is as shown below:

Serial         Con No      Delivery Reg        UK Reg      Arrival Date at Valley

ZM323        PM-110      N2824B                G-TBFT      May 15, 2018

ZM324        PM-111      N2826B                G-CKGO    May 15, 2018

ZM325        PM-115      N2843B                G-CKGP     February 16, 2018

ZM326        PM-116      N2770B                G-CKGW   February 16, 2018

ZM327        PM-125      N2856B                G-CKVL     August 20, 2018

ZM328        PM-126      N2857B                G-CKVN    August 20, 2018

ZM329        PM-127      N2858B                G-CKVO    September 14, 2018

ZM330        PM-128      N2859B                G-CKVR    November 5, 2018

ZM331        PM-129      N2860B                G-CKVS     November 5, 2018

ZM332        PM-130      N2872B                G-CKVU    December 3, 2018

All but one of the UK registrations were cancelled on January 21, 2019, when they were officially transferred to military markings.  The exception is the first aircraft, ZM323, which still remains civil registered as G-TBFT, at the present time.