In aviation everything has to be right the first time, every time. That’s why the Royal Air Force, with help from Thales, makes sure that its pilots and crew are among the most highly trained in the world. Thales has been providing training services to the RAF for more than 20 years and today delivers fully managed training services for pilots and crew. We work with our customers to ensure that pilots and crews are fully prepared for any eventuality.
How the RAF gets it right first time, every time
It is said there is a first time for everything. But what if it’s your first time piloting a single-seat fighter jet, pulling 9G in evasive manoeuvres? Or flying an A400M over difficult terrain on a humanitarian mission?
The problem with aviation is that it is terribly unforgiving. Failure is not an option. In the air and on the ground, everything has to be right the first time, every time. That’s why the Royal Air Force (RAF), with help from Thales, makes sure that its pilots and crew are among the most highly trained in the world.
Thales has been providing training services to the RAF for more than 20 years and today delivers fully managed training services for pilots and crew, in the classroom and using full flight simulators. By 2017, Thales had clocked up as many as 57,000 simulator flying hours over 38,000 sorties, and trained more than 600 RAF pilots.
Today, Thales’s services include end-to-end training for the pilots and ground crew within in its purpose built facilities for the GR4 Tornado at RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Marham, and the Tucano basic fast jet trainer at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. At RAF Brize Norton, Thales manages the end-to-end training and maintenance of the Voyager AirTanker and the Airbus A400M synthetic training equipment. Most recently, Thales has added High G training to its portfolio for fast jet pilots.
The world’s first High G fighter simulator
Thales teamed up with Austrian firm AMST to create a High G training and test facility at RAF Cranwell. Training takes place in an accurately simulated fighter cockpit that’s mounted on a long arm rotating at speeds of up to 34 revolutions per minute to create 9 G - the same force that a pilot will experience in a real aircraft.
Three aircraft types can be simulated: The Eurofighter Typhoon, the Hawk T2 trainer and the new F-35 Lightning II, expected to enter service in 2018.
Military transport and Air-to-air refuelling
At RAF Brize Norton, Thales is part of a consortium that offers a full training service to the pilots, aircrew and groundcrew of the Voyager AirTanker, in a purpose built facility under a Private Finance Initiative.
Classroom instruction, desktop simulation and synthetic training equipment are used to develop the skills needed for flying and air-to-air refuelling, day or night and in all weathers. This is in a controlled environment in complete safety - and far more economically - than in real-life missions.
Also at Brize Norton, in a separate but also purpose-built facility, Thales provides training services to support the RAF’s A400M, a highly advanced tactical and heavy air transport designed to move payloads of up 37 tonnes over distances as far as 3,300 Km, with the ability to operate from rough landing strips.
Whatever it takes
In all cases, Thales provides complete end-to-end training for the pilot and ground crew, giving the RAF comprehensive and responsive training services. Every requirement is provided for. Nothing is left out.
With help from Thales, the RAF is making sure that its pilots and crew are the best in the world, ready to face any challenge asked of them.