450 Logo

Aircraft Knowledge - Aircraft of the Royal Air Force

As part of their training cadets learn about RAF aircraft. Here are some brief facts...

The Grob 'Tutor'

ROLE: Elementary training
ENGINE: Textron Lycoming AE-360-B piston engine powering a Hoffman 3 bladed, constant speed propeller
TOP SPEED: 135kts
LENGTH: 7.54m
SPAN: 10.00m
CEILING: 10000ft


The Grob 115E, known by the RAF as the Tutor, is used for Elementary Flying Training by the 14 University Air Squadrons and 12 Air Experience Flights throughout the UK.

The Tutor is constructed mainly from carbon fibre reinforced plastic, which combines high strength with light weight. It has side-by-side seating and the primary flight instruments are on the right-hand side of the cockpit. This allows the student to fly the aircraft from the right-hand seat with a right-hand stick and a left-hand throttle so that future transition to fast-jet aircraft is made easier.

The Tutor can cruise at 130kts at sea level and climb to 5,000ft in seven minutes. The aircraft has a very clean airframe and has a three-minute inverted- flight time limit, making it ideal for aerobatics. The aircraft has a very modern instrument and avionics suite. The combination of docile handling characteristics and good performance make it very suitable for its training role. Each one costs about £250,000.

Agusta Westland 'Merlin'

ROLE: Medium lift transport and utility
ENGINES: Three Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM 322 turbines
THRUST: 2263shp each
MAX SPEED: 167kts
LENGTH: 22.8m
SPAN: 18.6m
CEILING: 15,000ft


The Merlin AW101 is an all weather, day/night, multi-role helicopter used in both tactical and strategic operational roles.

The aircraft carries an impressive defensive-aids suite, which includes a Radar and Laser Warning Receiver, Missile Approach Warners and an automatic chaff and flare dispensing system. Accurate navigation is ensured by the aircraft’s management computers which take data from its laser-gyro, inertial-navigation and doppler system, combined with information from GPS.

Navigation at night is helped by the crew’s use of night-vision goggles and by the aircraft’s multi-function turret, which can be fitted with forward- looking infrared radar-FLIR. The Merlin can also be equipped with extended range fuel tanks .

The Merlin is able to carry a range of cargo, either internally or under-slung and can include artillery, Land Rovers or light-strike vehicles and over 5 tonnes of freight. The cabin can accommodate up to 24 fully equipped combat troops or can convert to carry 16 stretchers for casualty evacuation-CASEVAC.

The Merlin is armed with two general purpose machine guns converted for the air role. Each one costs about £14,000,000.

Grob Viking (Glider)

ROLE: Used by the Air Cadet Organisation to give basic gliding training to Air Cadets

ENGINES: Nil, the aircraft can be winch launched or aero towed

MAX SPEED: 119kts

Length: 8.18m

CEILING: 8,000ft


Viking 2

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.

Get Flash Player