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.