FLYING AND GLIDING
Joining the Air Cadets opens up a world of opportunities. One of the most sought after and enjoyable is the chance to fly in one of our gliders or powered light aircraft. It’s our aim to get you airborne as often as possible with flying days taking place every few months. Some cadets can be lucky enough to experience a flight on-board RAF aircraft such as the Hawk or Chinook helicopter.
Stand out from the crowd and you could be nominated for the chance to join a pilot in one of the RAF's fast jet aircraft or experience the exhilaration of a Red Arrows flight!
Providing most cadets' first piece of airborne action, the Grob G103A Twin II Acro - better known as the Viking T1 - is a modern, high performance two-seat glider. It's perfectly suited to seat you and your instructor. It's even used to train instructors themselves at our Volunteer Gliding Squadrons (VGS) around the country.
The Viking has no engine and the main method of getting airborne is via a winch-launch - a great experience in its own right. A steel cable, up to 1,500 metres long, is pulled and wrapped around a drum by a powerful turbo engine. It winds slowly at first and then (when the winch operator receives the "all out" signal) at an increasing fast speed, allowing the glider to catch the wind and launch upwards. After the glider is at the right height the cable is released and, aided by a parachute to slow it down, falls to the ground ready for the next launch. The height you reach depends on wind strength at the time, but a winch-launch flight normally lasts around 5 minutes. In warmer months the pilot can use thermals (warm rising air) to stay aloft for longer periods of time - circling to gain height.
The Grob Tutor is the RAF's basic trainer used at RAF Cranwell to train pilots before they are streamed to either Fast Jet, Multi-Engine or Rotary. The Tutor is also used by University Air Squadrons, and by the Air Cadet's very own Air Experience Flight Squadrons, or AEFs.
The Grob Tutor is a single engine, two seat light aircraft capable of performing aerobatic manoeuvres up to +6G and -3G. The glass canopy provides excellent all round visibility ensuring an absolutely stunning view of your surroundings. A joy to fly, a flight in the Tutor really is the epitome of routine Air Cadet flying and is an opportunity most will never have the privilege to experience.